Brazil posts May trade surplus of $9.3 billion as exports hit historic high

FILE PHOTO: A Maersk ship and containers are seen at the Port of Santos, Brazil, September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil posted a trade surplus of $9.3 billion in May, Economy Ministry figures showed on Tuesday, as record exports for that month helped fuel the second largest overall surplus ever.

The $9.3 billion surplus was almost exactly in line with the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a $9.2 billion surplus, and up almost 30% from the $6.8 billion surplus in May last year.

It is the second highest on record following April’s $10.3 billion surplus, Refinitiv figures show, meaning the April-June surplus will almost certainly be the highest quarterly surplus on record.

Exports in May totaled a record $26.95 billion for that month and imports were $17.7 billion, the ministry said, adding that total trade flows of $44.6 billion in the month were up 50% from a year earlier.

These figures mean Brazil’s trade surplus in the first five months of the year totaled $27.5 billion, sharply up from the $15.8 billion surplus a year ago.

Exports in the January-May period totaled $109.1 billion, up 31% on the year, while imports of $81.5 billion were 21% higher than a year ago, ministry figures showed.

Economy Ministry officials have said the 2021 surplus could reach a record of almost $90 billion, and the central bank is forecasting a $70 billion surplus this year. Both would be significantly higher than last year’s $53 billion.

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