Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil

Two of Brazil’s 10 largest export companies are players in the iron and steel industry while two other mammoth Brazilian firms are food processing businesses.

Brazil’s largest multinationals that support international trade transactions are financial institutions Banco do Brasil and Banco Bradesco.

To give some contextual perspective on recent company performance, the overall value of Brazilian exports fell by -25.4% from US$242.6 billion in 2012 to $185.2 billion during 2016. One reason behind the drop in the overall value of Brazilian exports are depressed oil prices over the past five years.

In the analysis below, we compare Brazil’s top 10 export-oriented companies based on asset values, sales and profitability as of May 2017. Also presented is the Brazilian city where each business has its headquarters.

Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies


Below are Brazil’s biggest export-oriented companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of May 2017 compared to 2016.

  1. Banco do Brasil (regional bank): US$430.6 billion, up 0.1% from 2016
  2. Banco Bradesco (regional bank): $362.4 billion, down -12.2%
  3. Petrobras (oil, gas): $247.3 billion, up 8.7%
  4. Vale (iron, steel): $99.2 billion, up 13.6%
  5. JBS (food processing): $31.6 billion, up 0.9%
  6. Itaúsa (industrial conglomerate): $18.1 billion, up 30.4%
  7. Metalurgica Gerdau (iron, steel): $16.8 billion, down -5.5%
  8. Braskem (specialized chemicals): $15.9 billion, up 4.4%
  9. BRF-Brasil Foods (food processing): $13.8 billion, up 29.8%
  10. Cielo (payment systems): $9.4 billion, down -69.3%

Seven of these large Brazilian exporters grew their asset base from 2016 to May 2017, led by industrial conglomerate Itaúsa’s 30.4% gain and food processor BRF-Brasil Foods’ 29.8% appreciation.

For the remaining three decliners, asset depreciation percentages were -69.3% for Cielo, -12.2% for Banco Bradesco and -5.5% for Metalurgica Gerdau.


Sales is the life blood of all business, particularly for firms that compete in international trade. Half of the top Brazilian companies grew their sales from 2016 to May 2017, ranging from 0.2% for food processor JBS up to 6.5% for large financial institution Banco Bradesco.

  1. Petrobras: US$81.1 billion, down -15.8% from 2016
  2. Banco Bradesco: $70.2 billion, up 6.5%
  3. Banco do Brasil: $57.3 billion, down -12.6%
  4. JBS: $48.9 billion, up 0.2%
  5. Vale: $27.2 billion, up 6.1%
  6. Braskem: $13.8 billion, down -2.7%
  7. Metalurgica Gerdau: $19.8 billion, down -17.6%
  8. BRF-Brasil Foods: $9.7 billion, up 0.8%
  9. Cielo: $3.5 billion, up 6%
  10. Itaúsa: $1.3 billion, down -10.7%

Sales declines for the other five Brazilian firms ranged from -17.6% for iron and steel supplier Metalurgica Gerdau down to -2.7% for specialized chemicals business Braskem.


Six of the Brazil’s largest firms posted black ink as of May 2017. The remaining four businesses experienced tough losses led by -$4.3 billion in red ink for Petrobas.

  1. Banco Bradesco: US$4.3 billion, down -15.9% from 2016
  2. Vale: $3.8 billion, reversing a -$13.2 billion loss
  3. Itaúsa: $2.4 billion, down -12.6%
  4. Banco do Brasil: $2.3 billion, down -46.6%
  5. Cielo: $1.2 billion, up 9.4%
  6. JBS: $107.9 million, down -92.3%
  7. BRF-Brasil Foods: -$106.8 million, reversing a $874.5 million profit
  8. Braskem: -$136.2 million, reversing a $940.1 million profit
  9. Metalurgica Gerdau: -$395 million, down -41.8%
  10. Petrobras: -$4.3 billion, down -59.1%

Only electronic payment systems provider Cielo grew its profits at May 2017 via a 9.4% improvement compared to 2016.


Three of Brazil’s top 10 major companies have their headquarters in São Paulo, located in the Brazil’s southeastern region and the second-most highly populated Brazilian city. Rio de Janiero is the second-most populous Brazilian city and home to two other top enterprises. Just Banco do Brasil is based in Brazil’s capital city Brasilia.

  1. Banco Bradesco: Osasco
  2. Banco do Brasil: Brasilia
  3. Braskem: Camaçari
  4. BRF-Brasil Foods: São Paulo
  5. Cielo: Barueri
  6. Itaúsa: São Paulo
  7. JBS: São Paulo
  8. Metalurgica Gerdau: Porto Alegre
  9. Petrobras: Rio de Janiero
  10. Vale: Rio de Janiero


Note some of the above company offerings may include products or services other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.

For example, Itaúsa is an industrial conglomerate that operates not only in manufacturing but also in the financial services sector including commercial banking and consumer credit. Itaúsa makes a range of items such as wood products, bathroom fixtures and furniture fittings.

See also Brazil’s Top 10 Exports, Brazil’s Top 10 Imports and Top Brazilian Trade Balances

Research Sources:
Data.World Forbes Global 2000 2016 , Spreadsheet for 2016 Global 2000 rankings. Accessed on January 26, 2018

Forbes 2017 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Brazilian company compiled for this study: Itaúsa. Accessed on January 26, 2018

Forbes 2017 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 26, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on January 26, 2018

Wikipedia, Category: Companies of Brazil. Accessed on January 26, 2018

Wikipedia, List of companies of Brazil. Accessed on January 26, 2018