Products including soya beans, iron, crude oil, sugar and frozen beef were major factors behind Brazil’s highest trade surpluses by product.
China, Netherlands, Singapore, Canada and Turkey are the major trade partners from which Brazil generated the strongest positive trade balances.
To put Brazil’s trade surplus metric into perspective, the South American country’s total external debt encompassing both public and private red ink equaled -$551.7 billion at December 2020. Brazil’s external debt is the equivalent of almost 11 times the magnitude of its positive international trade balance equal to $50.9 billion for 2020.
Top Brazilian Trade Balances by Product and Country
The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $113.9 billion for Brazil in its global trade during 2020. Metrics listed below highlight Brazil’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners in terms of commodities.
- Soya beans: US$28.3 billion (Up 24.7% since 2013)
- Iron ores, concentrates: $25.7 billion (Down -20.8%)
- Crude oil: $16.9 billion (Up -601.1%)
- Sugar (cane or beet): $8.8 billion (Down -25.9%)
- Frozen beef: $6.6 billion (Up 49.9%)
- Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues: $5.9 billion (Down -12.8%)
- Corn: $5.7 billion (Down -7.1%)
- Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving): $5.6 billion (Up 23.2%)
- Poultry meat: $5.5 billion (Down -22.9%)
- Coffee: $4.9 billion (Up 8%)
Four product surpluses expanded from 2013 to 2020 namely frozen beef (up 49.9%), soya beans (up 24.7%), non-dissolving chemical woodpulp (up 23.2%) then coffee (up 8%).
The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$38.3 billion for Brazil in international trade during 2020. Brazil exhibited the severest competitive disadvantages in terms of red ink from exporting and importing the following goods.
- Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks: -US$10 billion (Reversing a $7.7 billion surplus in 2013)
- Phone system devices including smartphones: -$4.2 billion (Down -7.5% since 2013)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: -$3.9 billion (Down -16.6%)
- Flexible base metal tubing: -$3.5 billion (Reversing a $665.1 million surplus)
- Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides: -$3.4 billion (Up 27.8%)
- Blood fractions (including antisera): -$3.2 billion (Up 4.3%)
- Potassic fertilizers: -$2.61 billion (Down -21.8%)
- Medication mixes in dosage: -$2.55 billion (Down -1.9%)
- Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: -$2.49 billion (Up 18.3%)
- Nitrogenous fertilizers: -$2.48 billion (Up 11.8%)
Brazil’s red ink in global trade expanded at the fastest pace for the following products: packaged insecticides, fungicides and herbicides (up 27.8%), heterocyclics and nucleic acids (up 18.3%), nitrogenous fertilizers (up 11.8%) then blood fractions including antisera (up 4.3%).
In addition, the highly capital-intensive light vessels, fire boats and floating docks category as well as flexible base metal tubing went from a surplus in 2013 to a deficit 7 years later in 2020.
In 2020, Brazil earned a surplus subtotal worth $55.5 billion with the following 10 trading partners.
- China: US$33.6 billion (Up 285.7% since 2013)
- Netherlands: $6.1 billion (Down -59.6%)
- Singapore: $2.9 billion (Up 250.9%)
- Canada: $2.4 billion (Reversing a -$299.8 million deficit)
- Turkey: $2.2 billion (Reversing a -$187.5 million deficit)
- Malaysia: $2.1 billion (Reversing a -$839.4 million deficit)
- Hong Kong: $1.7 billion (Down -30.4%)
- Egypt: $1.54 billion (Down -19.8%)
- Spain: $1.52 billion (Reversing a -$910.8 million deficit)
- Bangladesh: $1.4 billion (Up 112.7%)
Three top Brazilian trade surpluses expanded since 2013 namely China (up 285.7%), Singapore (up 250.9%) and Bangladesh (up 112.7%).
Brazil suffered a deficit with 45 of its trade partners during 2020. The following 10 trade partners created a -$14.2 billion deficit subtotal from Brazil’s exchange of exports and imports on international markets.
- Germany: -US$4.5 billion (Down -48.2% since 2013)
- United States: -$2.8 billion (Down -75.1%)
- France: -$1.18 billion (Down -61.9%)
- Russia: -$1.17 billion (Reversing a $298.1 million surplus in 2013)
- India: -$1.09 billion (Down -66.1%)
- Denmark: -$884.9 million (Up 104.1%)
- Taiwan: -$758.6 million (Up 20.2%)
- Austria: -$683.7 million (Down -45.3%)
- Israel: -$577.2 million (Down -12.4%)
- Switzerland: -$547.7 million (Down -7.4%)
Brazil’s top county-specific trade deficits in 2020 compared to 2013 grew with only 2 major trade partners, namely Denmark (up 104.1%) and Taiwan (up 20.2%).
See also Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top Trade Partners, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports and Brazil’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on February 16, 2021
External Debt (for specified countries), CEIC Data. Accessed on February 16, 2021
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average)
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 16, 2021
Wikipedia, Brazil. Accessed on February 16, 2021