(Adds details on trade balance and fuel imports)
BRASILIA Aug 1 Brazil recorded its fifth
straight monthly trade surplus in July, government data showed
on Friday, but its trade balance stayed in the red for the year,
hit by a drop in prices for its main exports.
The surplus of $1.575 billion for July was the second
largest this year and almost double market expectations for a
$830 million surplus, though less than June's $2.37 billion
In the first seven months of the year, the commodities
powerhouse has accumulated a trade deficit of $914 million, less
than a fifth of the $4.972 billion deficit in the same period in
Brazil is struggling with weaker demand and lower prices for
commodity exports such as soybeans, sugar and iron ore due to a
sluggish global economy, a challenge for a country whose low
productivity makes its manufactured goods less competitive than
those made elsewhere.
The stronger trade results this year are due, in part, to a
drop in costly fuel imports. So far this year, Brazil has had to
pay $9.937 billion for fuel imports, down from $15.443 billion
during the same period last year.
(Reporting by Luciana Otoni; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by
James Dalgleish; and Peter Galloway)