Brazil shipped an estimated $209.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020. That dollar amount reflects a -6.3% decline year over year from 2019 but a 13.3% increase since 2016.
Brazilian exports represents roughly 1.1% of overall global exported products for 2019 estimated at $18.709 trillion (as of February 16, 2021).
Applying a continental lens, 52.8% of Brazil exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 16.8% were sold to European importers. Brazil shipped another 14.1% worth of goods to North America. Smaller percentages went to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (12.1%), Africa (3.8%) then Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia and Marshall Islands.
Brazil’s Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Brazil’s top trading partners in terms of export sales, countries that imported the most Brazilian shipments by dollar value during 2020. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Brazilian exports.
- China: US$67.7 billion (32.3% of total Brazilian exports)
- United States: $21.6 billion (10.3%)
- Argentina: $8.5 billion (4%)
- Netherlands: $7.4 billion (3.5%)
- Canada: $4.2 billion (2%)
- Japan: $4.1 billion (2%)
- Germany: $4.1 billion (2%)
- Spain: $4.1 billion (1.9%)
- Chile: $3.9 billion (1.8%)
- Mexico: $3.8 billion (1.8%)
- South Korea: $3.8 billion (1.8%)
- Singapore: $3.6 billion (1.7%)
- Malaysia: $3.2 billion (1.5%)
- Italy: $3.1 billion (1.5%)
- India: $2.9 billion (1.4%)
Over two-thirds (69.5%) of Brazilian exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Year over year, the greatest increases in purchases of exports from Brazil belong to Singapore (up 28.1%), Canada (up 27.9%), Malaysia (up 14.9%) and South Korea (up 9.5%).
Leading the declining import purchases from Brazil were the United States (down -27.3%), Netherlands (down -26.7%), Chile (down -25.1%), Japan (down -23.6%) then Mexico (down -21.1%).
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2020, Brazil incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Brazil: -US$12.6 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2020)
- Germany: -$4.5 billion
- United States: -$2.8 billion
- France: -$1.2 billion
- Russia: -$1.2 billion
- India: -$1.1 billion
- Denmark: -$884.9 million
- Taiwan: -$758.6 million
- Austria: -$683.7 million
- Israel: -$577.2 million
Among Brazil’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Brazilian deficits with United States (up 299.8%), Brazil (up 79.9%) and Denmark (up 44.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Brazil’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Brazil to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Overall, Brazil achieved a $50.9 billion trade surplus during 2020 up by 9.1% from its $46.7 billion positive trade balance one year earlier.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2020, Brazil generated the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- China: US$33.6 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2020)
- Netherlands: $6.1 billion
- Singapore: $2.8 billion
- Canada: $2.4 billion
- Turkey: $2.2 billion
- Malaysia: $2.1 billion
- Hong Kong: $1.7 billion
- Egypt: $1.5 billion
- Spain: $1.5 billion
- Bangladesh: $1.4 billion
Among Brazil’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Brazilian surpluses with Canada (up 132.2%), Turkey (up 39.4%) and Malaysia (up 38.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Brazil’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Brazil to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Brazilian Trading Partners
Twenty-five Brazilian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Brazilian companies that Forbes included:
- Petrobras (oil, gas)
- Vale (iron, steel)
- JBS (food processing)
- BRF-Brasil Foods (food processing)
- Itaúsa (industrials conglomerate)
- Braskem (specialized chemicals)
- Metalurgica Gerdau (iron, steel)
- CSN (iron, steel)
- Cosan (food processing)
- Embraer (aerospace)
- WEG (electrical equipment)
According to IMPORTERS.com listings for Brazilian suppliers, the following are examples of companies that ship products from Brazil to its trading partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis are products that the Brazilian business provides.
- Alfa International (manganese ore)
- Almeida Junior Com Intl Ltda (pig iron)
- CSS Exports & Imports (beer)
- Dwd Export Ltda (slippers, flip-flops)
- Eric Phones Store (mobile phones)
- Industrias Colin SA (polyester, cotton, fiberglass)
- JS Electronics (computers, digital cameras)
- Kalam Diamond (raw diamonds)
- Kesco Ltda (rice, chicken, beef)
- MMS 2000 Import & Export Ltda (cane sugar, soyabeans)
See also Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports and Top Brazilian Trade Balances
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 16, 2021
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on February 16, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 16, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Wikipedia, Brazil. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Brazil. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on February 16, 2021