UPDATE 2-Brazil trade surplus rebounds in July as imports drop
* Global slowdown and ports' strikes may hit trade
* Imports tend to slow in Latin America's top economy
By Luciana Otoni
BRASILIA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's trade surplus widened in July to $2.879 billion as imports fell sharply from the previous month due to the global economic slowdown and a weaker local currency, the Trade Ministry said on Wednesday.
The result topped expectations of a $2 billion surplus, according to the median forecast of 15 analysts surveyed by Reuters. It also far surpassed the $806 million surplus registered in June, but was below the $3.1 billion surplus in July 2011.
The daily average of imports fell 11.2 percent in July compared with June, far outpacing the slowdown in exports, which dipped 1.3 percent in the same period.
Deputy Trade Minister Alessandro Teixeira said imports are expected to slow further in the coming months, with businesses being more cautious as the global economy slows sharply. He added that a weaker Brazilian real is putting the brakes on the rapid surge of imports in Latin America's top economy.
The global slowdown is also weighing on exports, Teixeira said, warning that a strike by health and tax workers at the ports could further hurt trade.
"The strikes ... have an impact in the entry and exit of products and we still don't know the overall impact that would have on imports and exports," Teixeira told reporters in Brasilia.
Brazil expects exports to reach $264 billion in 2012. In the first seven months of the year, its exports totaled $138.1 billion, down 1.7 percent from the same period a year ago.
The European debt crisis and a slowdown in top commodity-consumer China has so far this year limited the demand for and prices of key Brazilian exports such as soy and iron ore.
Exports of iron ore slid 27.5 percent in value to $2.8 billion in July when compared to the same month last year. Sugar exports dropped 19.3 percent to $1.1 billion in July.
The imports of capital goods like machinery and factory equipment fell 6.2 percent in July from last year, highlighting the slowdown of the local economy, which has flirted with recession since mid-2011. Other imports like fuels and vehicles also fell in July.
Brazil's trade surplus between January and July fell 38 percent to $9.9 billion compared to the same period a year ago.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this