That dollar amount results from a 39.4% gain compared to $239.9 billion in 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Brazilian exports rose 19.1% from $280.8 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Brazilian real has depreciated by -41.3% against the US dollar since 2018 but strengthened by 4.3% from 2021 to 2022. Brazil’s weaker local currency starting from 2018 makes Brazilian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Brazil’s 8 biggest exports by value in 2022 were soya beans, crude oil, iron ores and concentrates, processed petroleum oils, corn, sugar, frozen beef, and solid residues including soya bean oil-cake. Collectively, that leading subset of Brazilian products represents over half (52.6%) of Brazil’s exports during 2022.
Brazil’s Best International Trade Customers
The latest available country-specific data shows that 64.1% of products exported from Brazil were bought by importers in: mainland China (26.8% of Brazil’s global total), United States of America (11.3%), Argentina (4.6%), Netherlands (3.6%), Spain (2.9%), Chile (2.7%), Singapore (2.5%), Mexico (2.1%), Japan (2%), India (1.9%), Germany (1.9%) and South Korea (also 1.9%).
From a continental perspective, 48.1% of Brazil exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 17.9% were sold to importers in Europe. Brazil shipped another 15% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (14.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (3.8%) then Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia and Marshall Islands.
Given Brazil’s population of 213.9 million people, its total $334.5 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $1,600 for every resident in South America’s leading economy. That dollar metric exceeds the average $990 per capita one year earlier.
Brazil’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Brazilian global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Brazil.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$56.9 billion (17% of total exports)
- Oil seeds: $47.2 billion (14.1%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $32.4 billion (9.7%)
- Meat: $24 billion (7.2%)
- Iron, steel: $16.7 billion (5%)
- Cereals: $13.9 billion (4.2%)
- Machinery including computers: $12.44 billion (3.7%)
- Vehicles: $12.39 billion (3.7%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $11.24 billion (3.4%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $11.15 billion (3.3%)
Brazil’s top 10 exports approached three-quarters (71.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Cereals was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 187.4% from 2021 to 2022. The cereals category was galvanized by greater sales of exported corn.
In second place for improving export sales was mineral fuels including oil which rose 48.2% led by petroleum oils.
Brazil’s shipments of food industry waste and animal fodder posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 39.8% year over year.
The lone decliner among Brazil’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash which fell -33.5%. That product category was dragged down by lower revenues from exported iron or copper ores and concentrates.
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.
Brazil’s Major Trade Surpluses by Product Category
Brazil achieved an overall $61.8 billion trade surplus for 2022 up by 0.6% from its $61.4 billion positive trade balance one year earlier in 2021.
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.
- Oil seeds: US$46.8 billion (Up by 21.4% since 2021)
- Ores, slag, ash: $31.5 billion (Down by -33.9%)
- Meat: $23.5 billion (Up by 31.6%)
- Iron, steel: $12.4 billion (Up by 27.5%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $11.1 billion (Up by 19.8%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $10.8 billion (Up by 41.4%)
- Cereals: $10.6 billion (Up by 443%)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $8.8 billion (Up by 42.8%)
- Woodpulp: $8.2 billion (Up by 25.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $7.3 billion (Down by -7.7%)
Brazil has highly positive net exports in the international trade of oil seeds. In turn, these cashflows indicate Brazil’s strong competitive advantages under the oil seeds product category.
Brazil’s Major Trade Deficits by 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.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$27.3 billion (Up by 14.1% since 2021)
- Fertilizers: -$24.5 billion (Up by 63.9%)
- Machinery including computers: -$21.5 billion (Up by 15.3%)
- Organic chemicals: -$15.5 billion (Up by 43.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$8.5 billion (Down by -14.2%)
- Other chemical goods: -$8.1 billion (Up by 54.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$6.5 billion (Up by 2.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$5.9 billion (Up by 11.3%)
- Vehicles : -$4 billion (Down by -26.9%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: -$2.4 billion (Up by 3.5%)
Brazil has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for assembled electronic equipment. That loss-leader category encompasses consumer electronics.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Brazil’s competitive disadvantages in the international electronics market, but also represent key opportunities for Brazil to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Brazilian Major Export Companies
Twenty-five Brazilian corporations ranked among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Brazilian companies that Forbes included.
- Braskem (specialized chemicals)
- BRF-Brasil Foods (food processing)
- Cosan (food processing)
- CSN (iron, steel)
- Embraer (aerospace)
- Itaúsa (industrials conglomerate)
- JBS (food processing)
- Metalurgica Gerdau (iron, steel)
- Petrobras (oil, gas)
- Vale (iron, steel)
- WEG (electrical equipment)
Wikipedia lists many of the larger international trade players from Brazil, plus:
- Grupo Pão de Açúcar (retail including online)
- Oi (telecommunications)
According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of Brazilian exporters.
- Afil Import Export E Comercio (garlic, flaxseed, corn)
- American Safety Razor Brazil (razor blades, adipic acid)
- Hapag Lloyd Brazil (containers, siliceous earths, white cement)
- Inergy Automotive Systems Do Brazil (combustion engine internal pumps, gas station external pumps)
- Vanguard Logistics Services Do Brazil (transmission belts, rubber/plastic molds, malt beer)
Searchable List of Brazil’s Most Valuable Export Products
At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Brazil during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Brazilian Export||Value (US$)||Change|
|3||Iron ores, concentrates||$28,888,658,000||-35.3%|
|4||Processed petroleum oils||$13,036,328,000||+79.5%|
|6||Sugar (cane or beet)||$11,003,830,000||+19.8%|
|8||Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues||$10,339,530,000||+40.8%|
|11||Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)||$7,906,359,000||+23.7%|
|12||Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)||$5,589,155,000||+0.6%|
|17||Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)||$3,676,393,000||+7.9%|
|19||Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)||$2,779,573,000||+22.5%|
|20||Copper ores, concentrates||$2,744,076,000||-18.6%|
|25||Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste||$2,295,544,000||+70.1%|
|27||Fruit and vegetable juices||$2,231,661,000||+19.6%|
|30||Piston engine parts||$1,538,078,000||+16.5%|
|31||Rubber tires (new)||$1,359,865,000||+25.9%|
|32||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$1,234,420,000||+79.3%|
|33||Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)||$1,161,592,000||+5.6%|
|38||Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)||$950,346,000||-21.5%|
|39||Monument/building stones, art||$945,909,000||-7%|
|40||Hydrogen, rare gases||$905,466,000||+101.8%|
|41||Electric motors, generators||$871,103,000||+43.4%|
|42||Fresh or chilled beef||$868,085,000||-12.9%|
|43||Alloy steel ingots||$810,885,000||-10.6%|
|44||Medication mixes in dosage||$810,330,000||+16.1%|
|45||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$757,620,000||+36.6%|
|47||Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates||$712,532,000||+30.6%|
|48||Other animal leather||$688,380,000||-12.7%|
|50||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$651,748,000||+19.5%|
|52||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$608,901,000||+10.1%|
|53||Air or vacuum pumps||$597,648,000||+11.5%|
|55||Wood carpentry, builders' joinery||$570,459,000||-0.1%|
|56||Uncoated kraft paper||$567,751,000||+102.1%|
|57||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$553,757,000||+44.4%|
|58||Petroleum oil residues||$536,938,000||+59.3%|
|59||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$524,577,000||+9.8%|
|61||Other food preparations||$513,728,000||+22.9%|
|62||Unglazed ceramic tiles, cubes||$512,546,000||+5%|
|64||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$506,842,000||+94.8%|
|66||Chassis fitted with engine||$483,819,000||+91.1%|
|67||Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)||$469,199,000||+42.2%|
|70||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$446,236,000||+5.5%|
|77||Edible offal bovine animals, swine, sheep goats, horses||$400,829,000||-13.3%|
|78||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$400,377,000||+16.4%|
|79||Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances||$398,537,000||+23.8%|
|85||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$379,557,000||+129.5%|
|86||Ligneous fiberboard including wood||$372,686,000||+39.9%|
|87||Liquid pumps and elevators||$370,309,000||-7.9%|
|88||Cellulose fiber paper||$357,510,000||+23.2%|
|90||Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$352,076,000||+20%|
|91||Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$349,038,000||+73.2%|
|93||Aircraft or spacecraft parts||$343,686,000||+0%|
|94||Precious metal waste, scrap||$340,332,000||-43.5%|
|95||Electrical converters/power units||$339,592,000||+14.9%|
|96||Mineral substances like vermiculite, perlite||$333,367,000||+319.6%|
|98||Nickel ores, concentrates||$321,094,000||+35.3%|
|99||Phone devices including smartphones||$316,220,000||+18.5%|
|100||Electric generating sets, converters||$313,519,000||+15.5%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$295.4 billion or 88.3% by value for all international product sales originating from Brazil during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Brazil’s total exported goods represent 8.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($3.783 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 8.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 8.2% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Brazil’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Brazil’s unemployment rate averaged 9.771% for 2022, down from an average 13.2% for 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Brazil’s capital city is Brasilia, although many tourists still assume that flamboyant Rio de Janeiro is the country’s capital–at least for entertainment purposes.
See also Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top Trade Partners, Top Brazilian Trade Balances and Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 22, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 22, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 22, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Wikipedia, Brazil. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Brazil. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 22, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on March 22, 2023