BRASILIA Dec 2 Brazil posted a trade surplus in
November that was more than five times expectations, official
data showed on Monday, but even so the country remained on track
to end the year with its first annual deficit in more than a
The trade surplus of $1.740 billion was well above
expectations for a $300 million surplus, according to the median
forecast of 16 analysts surveyed by Reuters. In November 2012,
the country posted a trade deficit of $193.6 million.
So far this year Brazil has accumulated a deficit of $89
million, a sharp contrast from the $17.154 billion surplus
posted during the same period last year.
Brazilians' appetite for foreign products has remained
strong, bolstering imports of items from shoes to electronics
and clothes. In the first 11 months of the year, imports rose
7.1 percent while exports dropped 1.1 percent from the same
period last year.
Though exports make up only about 10 percent of Brazil's
$2.5 trillion economy, they are considered a key sector by
President Dilma Rousseff's government.
Rousseff has offered billions of dollars in subsidized
lending to help exporters, mostly those who produce manufactured
The widening trade deficit is a serious challenge for
Brazil, which is reeling from a sluggish global economy and
productivity shortcomings at home. The deficit is also helping
weaken the local currency, the real, as fewer U.S. dollars enter