Brazil imported US$177.3 billion worth of goods sourced from around the globe in 2019, up by 3.4% since 2015 but down by -2.1% from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Brazilian real has depreciated by -18% against the US dollar since 2015 and eroded by -7.5% from 2018 to 2019. Brazil’s weaker local currency makes Brazilian imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the Brazilian real.
From a continental perspective, 36.5% of Brazil’s total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from Asian countries. European trade partners supplied 23.1% of imports sold to Brazil while 20.8% worth of goods originated from North American exporters. Smaller percentages came from fellow Latin America nations plus the Caribbean (15.8%) but excluding Mexico plus 3.1% furnished by sources in Africa, and 0.6% from Oceania led by Australia.
Given Brazil’s population of 210 million people, its total $177.3 billion in 2019 imported goods translates to roughly $850 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American nation.
Brazil’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Brazil’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Brazil.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$24 billion (13.5% of total imports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $22.1 billion (12.5%)
- Machinery including computers: $21.3 billion (12%)
- Vehicles: $12.2 billion (6.9%)
- Organic chemicals: $11 billion (6.2%)
- Fertilizers: $9.1 billion (5.2%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $7.4 billion (4.2%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $7.3 billion (4.1%)
- Other chemical goods: $5.4 billion (3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $5.3 billion (3%)
Brazil’s top 10 imports account for 70.5% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Machinery including computers was the fastest-growing import product category, increasing in cost by 11.5% from 2018 to 2019. Imported miscellaneous chemical goods placed second via a 10.3% expansion followed by fertilizers bought by Brazilian importers thanks to a 6.1% increase.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2019, Brazilian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related goods.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$13 billion (up 0.7% from 2018)
- Crude oil: $4.7 billion (down -7.8%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $2.9 billion (down -14.8%)
- Petroleum gases: $2.6 billion (down -28.9%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $434 million (down -30.3%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $209.3 million (down -30.4%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $65.1 million (down -4.1%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $39.3 million (up 13.1%)
- Electrical energy: $33.4 million (down -76.5%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $25.5 million (down -37.4%)
Among these import subcategories, Brazilian purchases of tar pitch and coke (up 13.1%) and processed petroleum oils (up 0.7%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Brazilian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Brazilian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$4.4 billion (up 4.2% from 2018)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $4.2 billion (down -9.8%)
- TV/radio/radar device parts: $1.9 billion (down -5.2%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $1.5 billion (up 45.5%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $1.1 billion (up 30.2%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $960.1 million (down -4.9%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $931.9 million (up 2.4%)
- Electric motors, generators: $721 million (up 10%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $495.3 million (up 7.6%)
- Electric generating sets, converters: $489.3 million (up 298.8%)
Among these import subcategories, Brazilian purchases of electric generating sets and converters (up 298.8%), solar power diodes or semi-conductors (up 45.5%) then electrical converters and power units (up 30.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Brazilian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Brazilian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: US$2.7 billion (up 101.6% from 2018)
- Computers, optical readers: $1.3 billion (up 4.2%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $1.1 billion (up 1.1%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $943.4 million (down -10%)
- Piston engine parts: $909.8 million (down -19.9%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $874.4 million (down -11.5%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $840.2 million (up 0.7%)
- Printing machinery: $826.8 million (down -6.5%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $792.1 million (up 18.1%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $774.9 million (up 15.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Brazilian purchases of taps, valves and similar appliances (up 101.6%), centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 18.1%) then liquid pumps and elevators (up 15.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Brazilian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Brazilian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of road vehicles-related imports.
- Automobile parts/accessories: US$4.6 billion (down -21.6% from 2018)
- Cars: $3.3 billion (down -20.8%)
- Trucks: $3 billion (up 5.9%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $622.1 million (up 7.5%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $166.4 million (up 33.8%)
- Tractors: $131.7 million (up 46.1%)
- Automobile bodies: $117.3 million (up 14%)
- Trailers: $66.7 million (up 25.3%)
- Motorcycles: $52 million (up 149.9%)
- Armored vehicles, tanks: $48.3 million (down -45.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Brazilian purchases of motorcycles (up 149.9%), tractors (up 46.1%) then public-transport vehicles (up 33.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentages within parenthesis clearly show where the declining demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports among Brazilian businesses and consumers.
See also Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Brazil’s Top Trading Partners, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on January 24, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on January 24, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on January 24, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on January 24, 2020