Brazil’s Top 10 Exports

Brazil’s Top 10 Exports


The biggest country by population and land area for both South America and Latin America, Brazil shipped an estimated US$239.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 10.2% gain year over year from 2017 and up 6.6% since 2014.

Reported as of September 3, 2019, Brazil exported $130 billion worth of goods during the first 7 months of 2019 down -4.7% compared to the same period one year earlier.

From a continental perspective, 44% of Brazilian exports by value was delivered to Asian countries while about 19.2% was sold to European importers. Brazil shipped another 16.9% worth of goods to Latin America (excluding Mexico) plus Caribbean nations. Brazilian exports to North American clients totaled 15.4% with roughly 3.4% delivered in Africa and just 0.3% arriving in Oceania led by Australia and Marshall Islands.

Given Brazil’s population of 208.8 million people, its total $239.9 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $1,150 for every resident in South America’s largest country.

In macroeconomic terms, Brazil’s total exported goods represent 7.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($3.365 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 7.2% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Brazil’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Brazil also provided $34 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 1% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Brazil’s unemployment rate was 12.3% at May 2019 down from 12.4% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Brazil’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Brazilian global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Brazil.

  1. Oil seeds: US$33.5 billion (14% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $29.7 billion (12.4%)
  3. Ores, slag, ash: $23.7 billion (9.9%)
  4. Machinery including computers: $14.8 billion (6.2%)
  5. Meat: $13.3 billion (5.5%)
  6. Vehicles: $12.7 billion (5.3%)
  7. Iron, steel: $11.8 billion (4.9%)
  8. Woodpulp: $8.4 billion (3.5%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $7.2 billion (3%)
  10. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $6.7 billion (2.8%)

Brazil’s top 10 exports accounted for about two-thirds (67.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing export category via its 39.8% increase over 2017, followed by food industry waste and animal fodder’s 32.9% gain.

In third place were Brazilian exports of woodpulp which posted a 31.5% boost in value year over year. Close behind were Brazilian shipments of oil seeds (up 28.9%) then exported iron and steel (up 9.7%).

Decliners among Brazil’s top 10 export categories were sugar and sugar confectionery (down -42.3%), vehicles (down -14.1%) and meat (down -4.7%).

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Brazil’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.


Overall, Brazil achieved a $58.7 billion trade surplus during 2018 down by -12.5% from its $67 billion positive trade balance in 2017.

The following types of Brazilian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Oil seeds: US$33.3 billion (Up by 29.2% since 2017)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $22.5 billion (Up by 6.2%)
  3. Meat: $13.0 billion (Down by -4.6%)
  4. Iron, steel: $9.4 billion (Up by 6.1%)
  5. Woodpulp: $8.2 billion (Up by 32.5%)
  6. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $6.9 billion (Up by 34.3%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $6.6 billion (Down by -42.6%)
  8. Coffee, tea, spices: $4.6 billion (Down by -6.1%)
  9. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.4 billion (Reversing a -$328.1 million deficit)
  10. Wood: $3.1 billion (Up by 14.9%)

Brazil has highly positive net exports in the international trade of oil seeds which is often used for vegetable oil and related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Brazil’s strong competitive advantages under the oil seed product category.


Below are exports from Brazil that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Brazil’s goods trail Brazilian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$18.3 billion (Up by 5.8% since 2017)
  2. Fertilizers: -$8.4 billion (Up by 18%)
  3. Organic chemicals: -$8.4 billion (Up by 37.6%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$6 billion (Up by 13.2%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$4.5 billion (Up by 14.3%)
  6. Machinery including computers: -$4.3 billion (Up by 21.1%)
  7. Ships, boats: -$4.1 billion (Reversing a $752.7 million surplus)
  8. Other chemical goods: -$3.9 billion (Up by 22.4%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: -$3.9 billion (Up by 35.9%)
  10. Vehicles: -$1.4 billion (Reversing a $3.5 billion surplus)

Brazil has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for assembled electronic equipment including consumer electronics.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Brazil’s competitive disadvantages in the international electronics market, but also represent key opportunities for Brazil to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Brazilian Export Companies

Twenty-five Brazilian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Brazilian companies that Forbes included:

  • Braskem (specialized chemicals)
  • BRF-Brasil Foods (food processing)
  • Cosan (food processing)
  • CSN (iron, steel)
  • Embraer (aerospace)
  • Itaúsa (industrials conglomerate)
  • JBS (food processing)
  • Metalurgica Gerdau (iron, steel)
  • Petrobras (oil, gas)
  • Vale (iron, steel)
  • WEG (electrical equipment)

Wikipedia lists many of the larger international trade players from Brazil, plus:

  • Grupo Pão de Açúcar (retail including online)
  • Oi (telecommunications)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of Brazilian exporters:

  • Afil Import Export E Comercio (garlic, flaxseed, corn)
  • American Safety Razor Brazil (razor blades, adipic acid)
  • Hapag Lloyd Brazil (containers, siliceous earths, white cement)
  • Inergy Automotive Systems Do Brazil (combustion engine internal pumps, gas station external pumps)
  • Vanguard Logistics Services Do Brazil (transmission belts, rubber/plastic molds, malt beer)


Brazil’s capital city is Brasilia, although many tourists still assume flamboyant Rio de Janeiro is the country’s capital–at least for entertainment purposes.

Searchable List of Brazil’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Brazil’s top export products are soya beans followed by iron, crude oil then sugar.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Brazil during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankBrazilian Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Soya beans$33.2 billion+29.1%
2Crude oil$25.1 billion+51.2%
3Iron ores, concentrates$20.2 billion+5.3%
4Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$8 billion+34.3%
5Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$6.7 billion+34.7%
6Sugar (cane or beet)$6.5 billion-42.8%
7Poultry meat$6 billion-8.7%
8Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$5.7 billion+534.9%
9Cars$5.1 billion-22.9%
10Frozen beef$4.6 billion+4%
11Coffee$4.4 billion-5.3%
12Processed petroleum oils$4.2 billion+135.2%
13Corn$4.1 billion-11.3%
14Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$3.9 billion+20.1%
15Aircraft, spacecraft$3.5 billion-3.7%
16Turbo-jets$3.4 billion+7%
17Iron ferroalloys$3 billion+20.8%
18Gold (unwrought)$2.8 billion+0.5%
19Aluminum oxide/hydroxide$2.8 billion-1.5%
20Copper ores, concentrates$2.6 billion+6.2%
21Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$2.6 billion+15.3%
22Fruit and vegetable juices$2.4 billion+9.7%
23Trucks$2.3 billion-19.6%
24Automobile parts/accessories$2.2 billion+2.8%
25Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$1.9 billion-5.3%
26Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$1.6 billion+16.9%
27Tractors$1.5 billion+4%
28Piston engine parts$1.4 billion+4.5%
29Alloy steel ingots$1.2 billion+25.5%
30Rubber tires (new)$1.1 billion-5%
31Flexible base metal tubing$1.1 billion-0.7%
32Swine meat$1.1 billion-26.9%
33Ethylene polymers$1 billion-9%
34Soya-bean oil$1 billion-0.6%
35Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$920 million-0.8%
36Fresh or chilled beef$899.3 million+31.4%
37Ethyl alcohol$892.1 million+10.6%
38Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)$886.7 million-14.5%
39Medication mixes in dosage$850.2 million-5.8%
40Other animal leather$846.7 million-21.7%
41Taps, valves, similar appliances$803.1 million-6.5%
42Uncoated paper for writing/printing$779.7 million+10.2%
43Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$774.8 million+24.8%
44Sawn wood$771.6 million+16%
45Pig iron$750.5 million-1.9%
46Monument/building stones, art$720.4 million-14.6%
47Air or vacuum pumps$633.5 million+7.1%
48Propylene/olefin polymers$630.1 million-3.1%
49Electric motors, generators$610 million+4.6%
50Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$591.2 million-10.4%
51Miscellaneous furniture$579.4 million+13.4%
52Bovine/equine leather$579.1 million-27.2%
53Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$567.3 million+11.4%
54Piston engines$567.1 million+76.8%
55Chassis fitted with engine$542.9 million-25.5%
56Live bovine cattle$534.8 million+93.7%
57Shaped wood$495.4 million+2.7%
58Insulated wire/cable$483.9 million+21.3%
59Hydrogen, rare gases$479.6 million+38.5%
60Red meat offal$479.1 million+1.3%
61Aircraft parts$472.1 million+16.1%
62Rice$467.9 million+91.3%
63Unglazed ceramic flags, paving, tiles$449.9 million+32.5%
64Footwear (rubber or plastic)$449.1 million-10.8%
65Essential oils$437.2 million+1.4%
66Hydrazine, inorganic salts$435.8 million+70.4%
67Liquid pumps and elevators$426.4 million-5%
68Harvest/threshing machinery$421.1 million-12.4%
69Animal guts, bladders, stomachs$420.8 million+11.6%
70Manganese ores, concentrates$406.3 million+11.1%
71Iron and steel tubes, pipes$403.6 million+395.2%
72Iron or steel tubes, pipes$401.1 million-9.3%
73Footwear (leather)$394.5 million-11.4%
74Acyclic hydrocarbons$394.1 million-11.6%
75Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)$392.9 million-6.6%
76Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$383.2 million-5.2%
77Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$364.5 million-45%
78Other food preparations$356.6 million+0.8%
79Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$356.2 million+11.1%
80Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$338.5 million+11.1%
81Automobile bodies$332.6 million-3.7%
82Public-transport vehicles$329.5 million+16.7%
83Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$306 million+0.7%
84Refined copper, unwrought alloys$301.9 million-0.3%
85Cellulose fiber paper$300.7 million+14.5%
86Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$286.2 million-6.3%
87Coated paper$285.9 million-26.3%
88Uncoated kraft paper$283.8 million+14.6%
89Regulate/control instruments$281 million+21.7%
90Petroleum oil residues$280.1 million+37.8%
91Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$278.1 million+4.2%
92Aluminum ores, concentrates$267.4 million+12.4%
93Copper wire$267.4 million+27.9%
94Salted/dried/smoked meat$265.7 million-25.5%
95Ethers$264.5 million+2.9%
96Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$250.3 million+0.9%
97Aluminum (unwrought)$248.9 million-38.6%
98Gelatin$246.8 million-7.5%
99Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$246.8 million-1.2%
100Amino-compounds (oxygen)$246.6 million-18.5%
101Zinc (unwrought)$243.9 million+11%
102Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$242.7 million-2.5%
103Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$233.8 million+3.7%
104Phone system devices including smartphones$233.6 million-8%
105Electrical converters/power units$231.8 million-35.6%
106Cyclic hydrocarbons$231.6 million-31.5%
107Unroasted ground-nuts$230.8 million+18.4%
108Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$226.4 million+88.5%
109Wood/other ligneous fiberboard$222.5 million+4.8%
110Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$221.3 million-9.9%
111Electric motor parts$220.9 million+16%
112Melons, watermelons, papayas$217.9 million-9.4%
113Miscellaneous machinery$217.6 million+4.2%
114Engines (diesel)$212.3 million+45.3%
115Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$201.8 million-10.3%
116Pepper (dried/crushed/ground)$198.9 million-28.6%
117Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$197.4 million-11.2%
118Bombs, grenades, ammunition$196.2 million-38.9%
119Electric ignition/start equipment$195.8 million+10.9%
120Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$195 million-9.5%
121Precious metal waste, scrap$190.5 million+9.6%
122Miscellaneous iron or steel items$189.2 million-27.4%
123Sort/screen/washing machinery$188.2 million-1.5%
124Unwrought tin$187.7 million+8.1%
125Alloy steel bars, rods$184.5 million+29.6%
126Lower-voltage switches, fuses$181.6 million-13.7%
127Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$181.5 million+12.2%
128Electric generating sets, converters$179.3 million+103.1%
129Monument/building stone$176.1 million-0.9%
130Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews$176 million+38.4%
131Vulcanized rubber items$173.5 million+22.7%
132Kaolin clays$170.4 million-6.3%
133Chemical industry products/residuals$166.3 million+6.6%
134Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$164.9 million-7.5%
135Trailers$163.1 million+57.9%
136Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$160.2 million+65.2%
137Iron or steel scrap$159.9 million-13.3%
138Insoles, heel cushions$156.5 million-16.5%
139Fertilizer mixes$155.3 million+3.7%
140Temperature-change machines$154 million+36.1%
141Nitrile-function compounds$152.2 million+34.9%
142Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$150.3 million-15.9%
143Acyclic alcohols$149.4 million+42.2%
144Other organic cleaning preparations$149.3 million-14.1%
145Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$148.6 million+29%
146Pneumatic hand tool$148.4 million+8.2%
147Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$148.1 million+0.4%
148Ball, roller bearings$144.6 million+8.9%
149Lifting/loading machinery$144.3 million-13.5%
150Refrigerators, freezers$143.6 million-9.8%
151Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$143.5 million-3.5%
152Motorcycles$141.8 million-9.5%
153Beryllium$140 million+23.7%
154Hair preparations$137.3 million+11.8%
155Interchangeable hand/machine tools$135.2 million-6.1%
156Natural magnesium carbonate$135.1 million+21.7%
157Computers, optical readers$134.7 million+47.7%
158Synthetic rubber$133.3 million-36.7%
159Miscellaneous plastic items$133.2 million-4.9%
160Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$131.8 million-5.9%
161Soil machinery$131.7 million+1.6%
162Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$131.6 million+1%
163Electric storage batteries$131.4 million-7.7%
164Particle board, other ligneous materials$129.8 million+13.9%
165Miscellaneous animal products$128.8 million+14%
166Flat-rolled stainless steel items$127.9 million-27.7%
167Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$126.4 million+6.2%
168Cocoa butter, fat, oil$123.2 million-29.8%
169Footwear (textile)$122.9 million-8.7%
170Orthopedic appliances$121.5 million-11.8%
171Aluminum containers$120.6 million+48.7%
172Machinery parts$118.5 million-8.7%
173Electrical capacitators$116.8 million-10.6%
174Paper containers, cellulose wadding$114.6 million+9.4%
175Carboxylic acids$114.3 million+3.1%
176Precious metal compounds$114.2 million+60.2%
177Washers, strips, other friction items$110.2 million+3.2%
178Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$108.9 million-2%
179Rosin/resin acids, run gums$108.8 million-8.6%
180Stoppers, caps, lids$108.6 million+28.1%
181Aluminum foil (thin)$105.5 million+26%
182Metal sheeting joints, gaskets$103.9 million+113.9%
183Vegetable saps, extracts$102.7 million-1.1%
184Organic surface-active goods, soap$101.7 million-4.7%
185Fresh or dried citrus fruit$101.4 million+4%
186Sausages$101.3 million-5.6%
187Unrecorded sound media$100 million-18.7%
188Coated/laminated non-wovens$99.1 million-13.3%
189Vegetable/bees/insect waxes$98.8 million-9.2%
190Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$97.8 million-19.1%
191Glycerol (glycerine)$97.8 million+47.4%
192Whole fish (frozen)$96.9 million+11.2%
193Navigational aids including compasses$96.1 million+118.9%
194Styrene polymers$96.1 million+5.5%
195Natural honey$95.4 million-21.3%
196Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$95 million-2.6%
197Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$95 million+2.6%
198Household/sanitary rolls$94.9 million+280.9%
199Yeasts, prepared baking powders$94 million-4.2%
200Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$93.6 million-11.5%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$222 billion or 92.6% by value for all international product sales originating from Brazil during 2018.

See also Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top Trade Partners, Top Brazilian Trade Balances and Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 3, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 3, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Brazil. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Brazil. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 3, 2019

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on January 21, 2019