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$217.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017.

That dollar amount reflects a 17.5% gain year over year since 2016, however is still -10% less than the $242 billion in Brazilian exports five years earlier during 2013.

From January to September 2018, exported goods from Brazil were valued at $179.7 billion. This 9-month metric puts Brazilian exports on track for an annualized $239.5 billion estimated for all 2018.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Brazil’s exported goods plus services represent 11.8% of total Brazilian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, some 40% of Brazilian exports by value is delivered to Asian countries while about 21% is sold to European importers. Brazil ships another 18% worth of goods to Latin America (excluding Mexico) plus Caribbean nations. Brazilian exports to North American clients totaled 16% with roughly 4% delivered in Africa.

Given Brazil’s population of 207.4 million people, its total $217.7 billion during 2017 exports translates to roughly $1,050 for every resident in South America’s largest country.

Brazil’s unemployment rate was 11.8% as of December 2017 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 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Brazil.

At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Brazil’s most valuable exported product are soya beans followed by iron ores and concentrates, sugar, crude oil then poultry meat.

  1. Oil seeds: US$26 billion (11.9% of total exports)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $22.4 billion (10.3%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $18.7 billion (8.6%)
  4. Vehicles : $14.7 billion (6.8%)
  5. Meat: $14 billion (6.4%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $13.8 billion (6.4%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $11.6 billion (5.3%)
  8. Iron, steel: $10.8 billion (4.9%)
  9. Woodpulp: $6.4 billion (2.9%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $5.4 billion (2.5%)

Brazil’s top 10 exports accounted for about two-thirds (66%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing export category via a 61.7% increase over 2016, followed by ores, slag and ash’s 41.6% gain.

In third place were Brazilian exports of oil seeds which posted a 36.4% boost in value year over year. Close behind were Brazilian shipments of iron and steel (up 36.4%) and vehicles (up 34.2%).

There was one decline among Brazil’s top 10 export categories, specifically a -2.6% drop for food industry waste and animal fodder.

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 $67 billion trade surplus during 2017 up by 40.5% from its positive trade balance in 2016.

As of June 2018, Brazil’s trade surplus stood at $29.9 billion down -17.6% compared to the first 6 months of 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 is 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$25.7 billion (Up by 33.6% since 2016)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $21.2 billion (Up by 42.4%)
  3. Meat: $13.6 billion (Up by 10.3%)
  4. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $11.5 billion (Up by 9.2%)
  5. Iron, steel: $8.8 billion (Up by 35.4%)
  6. Woodpulp: $6.2 billion (Up by 16.6%)
  7. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $5.1 billion (Down by -3.1%)
  8. Coffee, tea, spices: $4.9 billion (Down by -4.8%)
  9. Vehicles : $3.5 billion (Up by 243.5%)
  10. Cereals: $3.1 billion (Up by 74.4%)

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$17.3 billion (Up by 26.2% since 2016)
  2. Fertilizers: -$7.1 billion (Up by 22.9%)
  3. Organic chemicals: -$6.1 billion (Down by -6.2%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$5.3 billion (Up by 2.3%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$3.9 billion (Up by 0.7%)
  6. Machinery including computers: -$3.6 billion (Down by -62.5%)
  7. Other chemical goods: -$3.2 billion (Up by 6.6%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.9 billion (Up by 19.2%)
  9. Mineral fuels including oil: -$2.8 billion (Down by -20.6%)
  10. Rubber, rubber articles: -$1.3 billion (Up by 47.3%)

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 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankBrazil Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Soya beans$25.7 billion+33%
2Iron ores, concentrates$19.2 billion+44.5%
3Crude oil$16.6 billion+65%
4Sugar (cane or beet)$11.4 billion+9.4%
5Cars$6.7 billion+42.8%
6Poultry meat$6.6 billion+7.3%
7Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$5.9 billion+13.6%
8Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$5 billion-4.2%
9Corn$4.6 billion+23.8%
10Coffee$4.6 billion-5%
11Frozen beef$4.4 billion+22.2%
12Aircraft, spacecraft$3.6 billion-17.9%
13Turbo-jets$3.2 billion+28.9%
14Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$3.2 billion+67.8%
15Aluminum oxide/hydroxide$2.8 billion+17.2%
16Trucks$2.8 billion+36.3%
17Gold (unwrought)$2.8 billion-3.2%
18Copper ores, concentrates$2.5 billion+28.9%
19Iron ferroalloys$2.5 billion+17.2%
20Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$2.2 billion+65.5%
21Automobile parts/accessories$2.2 billion+15.7%
22Fruit and vegetable juices$2.1 billion+1.8%
23Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$2 billion-2.6%
24Processed petroleum oils$1.8 billion+54.5%
25Swine meat$1.5 billion+8.6%
26Tractors$1.4 billion+48.2%
27Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$1.4 billion+11.7%
28Piston engine parts$1.3 billion+15.1%
29Rubber tires (new)$1.2 billion+10.2%
30Ethylene polymers$1.1 billion-6.5%
31Flexible base metal tubing$1.1 billion-13.7%
32Other animal leather$1.1 billion-11.4%
33Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)$1 billion-11.4%
34Soya-bean oil$1 billion+14.8%
35Alloy steel ingots$938.7 million+21.6%
36Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$927.5 million+52.9%
37Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$903.9 million-75.2%
38Medication mixes in dosage$902.1 million+2.3%
39Taps, valves, similar appliances$858.5 million+5.9%
40Monument/building stones, art$843.3 million-2.3%
41Ethyl alcohol$806.9 million-10%
42Bovine/equine leather$795.2 million+0.7%
43Pig iron$764.9 million+46.1%
44Chassis fitted with engine$728.4 million+11.8%
45Uncoated paper for writing/printing$707.7 million+0.9%
46Fresh or chilled beef$684.4 million-9.6%
47Sawn wood$665.3 million+23.8%
48Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$663 million+35.5%
49Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$660.1 million+7.1%
50Propylene/olefin polymers$650.4 million+13%
51Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$620.6 million+29.8%
52Air or vacuum pumps$591.3 million-5.5%
53Electric motors, generators$583 million+23.7%
54Miscellaneous furniture$511.1 million+10.7%
55Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$509.4 million+12.8%
56Footwear (rubber or plastic)$503.3 million+22.3%
57Shaped wood$482.1 million+7%
58Harvest/threshing machinery$480.6 million+77.5%
59Red meat offal$473 million+18.3%
60Liquid pumps and elevators$448.7 million+2.4%
61Acyclic hydrocarbons$445.7 million+59.2%
62Footwear (leather)$445.2 million-5.6%
63Iron or steel tubes, pipes$442.2 million+38.4%
64Essential oils$431.2 million+27.2%
65Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)$420.8 million+18.2%
66Aircraft parts$406.5 million+12.8%
67Aluminum (unwrought)$405.7 million-21.1%
68Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$404.3 million+10.1%
69Insulated wire/cable$399.1 million+26.4%
70Coated paper$388 million+3.4%
71Animal guts, bladders, stomachs$377.2 million+30%
72Manganese ores, concentrates$365.6 million+81.2%
73Electrical converters/power units$359.9 million+17.8%
74Salted/dried/smoked meat$356.7 million-15.2%
75Other food preparations$353.7 million-0.01%
76Hydrogen, rare gases$346.3 million-10.4%
77Automobile bodies$345.2 million+35.5%
78Unglazed ceramic flags, paving, wall tiles$339.6 million+2,177%
79Cyclic hydrocarbons$338.3 million+33.1%
80Bombs, grenades, ammunition$320.9 million+47%
81Piston engines$320.8 million-5.2%
82Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$320.6 million+11.1%
83Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$305.4 million+5.8%
84Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$304.7 million+3.1%
85Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$303.9 million+12.9%
86Refined copper, unwrought alloys$302.9 million-37.9%
87Amino-compounds (oxygen)$302.6 million+15.4%
88Public-transport vehicles$282.5 million+21.4%
89Pepper (dried/crushed/ground)$278.6 million+12%
90Live bovine cattle$276 million+32.2%
91Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$267 million+18.6%
92Gelatin$266.8 million-3.8%
93Cellulose fiber paper$262.6 million+8.4%
94Miscellaneous iron or steel items$260.5 million+19%
95Ethers$257.2 million+24.3%
96Hydrazine, inorganic salts$255.7 million+141.1%
97Phone system devices $253.8 million+17.9%
98Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$249.8 million+30.1%
99Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$248.9 million+47.1%
100Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$248 million+31.0%
101Uncoated kraft paper$247.6 million-1%
102Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$245.7 million-5.8%
103Rice$244.6 million-2.9%
104Melons, watermelons, papayas$240.6 million+7.7%
105Aluminum ores, concentrates$237.8 million-10.4%
106Regulate/control instruments$230.9 million+23.6%
107Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$225.4 million+10.1%
108Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$225 million+15.3%
109Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$222.2 million+29.2%
110Zinc (unwrought)$219.7 million+40.5%
111Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$215.6 million+12.9%
112Wood fiberboard, other ligneous materials$212.4 million+7.9%
113Synthetic rubber$210.6 million+23.4%
114Lower-voltage switches, fuses$210.4 million+0.6%
115Copper wire$209.1 million-15.9%
116Miscellaneous machinery$208.9 million-22.3%
117Petroleum oil residues$203.3 million+14.9%
118Unroasted ground-nuts$194.9 million+61.7%
119Sort/screen/washing machinery$191 million+28%
120Electric motor parts$190.5 million-52.7%
121Insoles, heel cushions$187.5 million+12.4%
122Iron or steel scrap$184.5 million+28.1%
123Kaolinic clays$181.8 million+0.9%
124Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$178.7 million+109.6%
125Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$178.3 million+101%
126Granite, basalt, sandstone building stone$177.7 million-5.8%
127Flat-rolled stainless steel items$177 million-14.5%
128Electric ignition/start equipment$176.6 million+20.1%
129Cocoa butter, fat, oil$175.6 million-12%
130Precious metal waste, scrap$173.9 million+8.2%
131Other organic cleaning preparations$173.8 million+6.1%
132Tin (unwrought)$173.6 million+32.2%
133Lifting/loading machinery$166.8 million+11.9%
134Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$161.8 million+9.6%
135Refrigerators, freezers$159.2 million+8.7%
136Motorcycles$156.7 million+40.8%
137Chemical industry products/residuals$156 million+18.4%
138Explosive-charge weapons$154 million+833.9%
139Fertilizer mixes$149.7 million-4%
140Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$148.7 million+20.9%
141Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$147.4 million-3.7%
142Engines (diesel)$146.1 million+9.4%
143Interchangeable hand/machine tools$144 million+25.6%
144Alloy steel bars, rods$142.4 million+42.2%
145Electric storage batteries$142.3 million+9.2%
146Vulcanized rubber items$141.5 million+10.4%
147Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$140.2 million+1.4%
148Miscellaneous plastic items$140.1 million+25.8%
149Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$139.6 million-31.9%
150Orthopedic appliances$137.8 million+17.2%
151Pneumatic hand tool$137.2 million+13.2%
152Footwear (textile)$134.6 million+25.1%
153Machine-tool for metal$133.2 million+69.4%
154Ball, roller bearings$132.8 million+5.6%
155Electrical capacitators$130.6 million+18.6%
156Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$130.3 million-1.8%
157Machinery parts$129.8 million+28%
158Agricultural/forestry machinery$129.7 million+32.7%
159Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews$127.1 million-12.5%
160Vinyl chloride polymers$123.7 million+3.1%
161Unrecorded sound media$122.9 million+8.7%
162Hair preparations$122.8 million+5%
163Natural honey$121.3 million+31.8%
164Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$121 million+141.2%
165Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$120.1 million-9.8%
166Rosin/resin acids, run gums$119.1 million+11%
167Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$119.1 million+23.3%
168Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$115.2 million+18.5%
169Coated/laminated non-wovens$114.3 million+15.8%
170Particle board, other ligneous materials$114.0 million+40.6%
171Beryllium$113.2 million+10.6%
172Temperature-change machines$113.1 million-48.8%
173Miscellaneous animal products$113 million+39.9%
174Nitrile-function compounds$112.8 million+39.5%
175Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$111.1 million-4.7%
176Natural magnesium carbonate, magnesia$111 million+53.1%
177Carboxylic acids$110.9 million+22.3%
178Vegetable/bees/insect waxes$108.8 million+4.8%
179Sausages$107.2 million+12.5%
180Friction materials, articles including sheets$106.8 million-5.4%
181Soap, organics surface-active cleaners$106.7 million+16.8%
182Printing machinery$106.1 million-21.1%
183Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$105.8 million+0.5%
184Acyclic alcohols$105.1 million+4%
185Paper containers, cellulose wadding$104.8 million-6%
186Vegetable saps, extracts$103.8 million+1.1%
187Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$103.4 million-23.9%
188Trailers$103.3 million-2.3%
189Wheat$102.8 million-10.9%
190Malt beer$98.8 million+26.6%
191 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $98.8 million+7.1%
192Yeasts, prepared baking powders$98.2 million+10.7%
193Fresh or dried citrus fruit$97.5 million-4.6%
194Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$97.5 million+6.4%
195Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$97 million+4.4%
196Grapes (fresh or dried)$96.2 million+47.4%
197Cellulose/chemical derivatives$95.5 million-1.5%
198Blood fractions (including antisera)$93.9 million+34%
199Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$92.5 million+15%
200Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$92.5 million-1.6%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$200.1 billion or 91.9% by value for all products exported from Brazil during 2017.

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:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 31, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 31, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Wikipedia, Brazil. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Brazil. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on August 31, 2018