* Seaborne trade falls 0.4 pct in 3rd qtr versus year ago
* Maersk says Brazil trade levels on downward trend
* Import, export drop shows Brazil growth may stall
* China stabilization has not brought trade boost
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 13 Brazilian seaborne trade
fell 0.4 percent in the third quarter compared with a year
earlier as declines in both imports and exports showed weakness
in domestic and international markets, Danish shipping company
Maersk Line said on Tuesday.
It was the worst result since at least the first quarter of
2011, the earliest period for which Maersk has results for total
Brazilian seaborne trading volumes, according to its first
International Trade Report. Maersk Line is a unit of Denmark's
A.P. Moller Maersk AS shipping and oil group.
As shipping is closely correlated to economic growth, the
result is a sign that Brazil's economy may not be speeding up as
much as the government expects, said Peter Gyde, head of Maersk
line in Brazil.
The government says Brazil's gross domestic product could
grow more than 4 percent next year. GDP rose only 0.49 percent
in the second quarter and industrial output fell 3.8 percent in
"The trend line for a period has been negative," Gyde told
Reuters on Monday. "The government is talking about a pickup,
but my main concern is that the trend lines are pointing in the
And while October Brazilian seaborne trade showed some
improvement over third-quarter levels, November and December
look weaker, he said.
The data in the report was compiled for Maersk by Rio de
Janeiro international trade data and consulting company
Dataliner. The figures represent total ocean trade with Brazil
and not just Maersk's shipping traffic, Maersk said in a
Maersk controls about 15 percent of the container shipping
market in Latin America.
Even as China's economy stabilizes from a slowdown, Brazil's
trade with its largest partner has shown little growth, Gyde
Exports of refrigerated goods to Asia fell 7.9 percent in
the third quarter from a year earlier while exports of "dry"
nonrefrigerated goods grew 1.5 percent. In the second quarter,
dry exports rose 31 percent compared with a year earlier.
Brazilian Asian imports fell 0.6 percent in the third
"Brazil has yet to reap the benefits of better consumer
spending in Asia's biggest economy," Gyde said. "Asia has been
the locomotive of growth and its slowing down is a bit of a
Some of the decline in trade to Asia is being made up with
new trade with the Middle East, he added.
Dry exports to Europe fell 16 percent, while refrigerated
food exports rose 20 percent in the third quarter.
The best improvement came from the United States, where the
third quarter saw the first sign of growth since early 2011.
Brazilian dry exports to the United States and the Gulf of
Mexico rose 7 percent in the quarter from a year earlier after
falling 0.8 percent in the second quarter.
Sugar cargo volumes fell 28 percent from a year ago, leading
export declines. Sugar was followed by automobile and
transportation equipment, down 21 percent. Plastics and rubber
fell 9 percent as did coffee.
Import declines were led by cotton, down 31 percent. Metals,
mining and construction goods fell 11 percent, fish imports fell
10 percent and automobile and transportation equipment fell 6