* Brazil posts trade deficit of nearly $ 1 billion in April
* Deficit climbed to $6.15 bln so far this year
BRASILIA, May 2 (Reuters) - Brazil recorded in April its third trade deficit in four months, trade ministry data showed on Thursday, another weak result that reflects the rapid deterioration of the country’s trade balance due to a sluggish global economy and struggling local industry.
The commodity powerhouse had a trade gap of $994 million in April, in line with market expectations, but much worse than the $879 million surplus it posted that same month last year.
In the first four months of the year, Brazil has accumulated a trade deficit of $6.15 billion -- a sharp contrast from the $3.299 billion surplus it recorded in the same period last year, according to trade ministry data.
The government has blamed the large trade deficit so far this year on a change in the tax agency’s accounting procedures that included billions of dollars in fuel imports from 2012 in this year’s trade balance.
Foreign trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres said on Thursday that there was still $1 billion in fuel import bills that need to be included in this year’s trade balance.
Brazil’s exports have suffered from a slow-moving global economy that buys less of the country’s relatively uncompetitive products.
Years of anemic investment in industries and infrastructure in Brazil have crippled local producers’ ability to compete against rivals abroad.
Although exports make up only about 10 percent of Brazil’s $2.5 trillion gross domestic product, they are considered a key part of the economy by President Dilma Rousseff’s government.