Curiosities about Brazilian exports and imports in 2021

As we know, the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has affected several economic, political, and social sectors, with greater intensity from March 2020 onwards.

As a result, as was to be expected, Foreign Trade was significantly affected. There were logistical problems, lack of equipment, and border closures, among other consequences.

Import and export operations faced many challenges throughout the year, and the past numbers reflected these difficulties.

However, even though the pandemic has not ended, 2021 has been an exciting year for international trade, with expressive numbers and some unusual situations.

Let's check some of these numbers and their curiosities?

Brazil has the biggest surplus in history between January and July

The Brazilian trade balance broke records in the first 7 months of the year, reaching expressive numbers compared to those registered in the previous year.

The value of exports in the cumulative was U$ 161.6 billion, 35% more than registered over the same period in 2020.

With regards to imports operations between January and July, the increase was also remarkable. In 2021, the amount of US$117.2 billion was 30% higher compared to 2020 values.

With these numbers, the Brazilian trade balance is positive with a surplus of U$ 44.3 billion (Comexvis).

As disclosed by the Ministry of Economy's Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX), exports and the trade balance are the highest in the entire historical series for the period between January and July.

In addition, Herlon Brandão, the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Intelligence and Statistics, stated that "we have never exported as much in the first seven months of the year, in terms of value, as in this year of 2021".

The biggest growth occurred in the Extractive Industry, that faced an increase of 75.1% in exports and 44.3% in imports (Brazilian Government).

Expectation of over $100 billion in surplus for 2021

On July 1st, Secex updated expectations for the Brazilian trade balance for 2021.

Based on the data obtained so far, it is expected that Brazil will achieve a trade surplus of US$ 105.3 billion, a record number for the nation.

If confirmed, the value will be more than the double registered in 2020, which ended with a surplus of US$ 51.1 billion.

Moreover, Brazilian exports are expected to reach U$ 307.5 billion, growing 46.5% and surpassing, for the first time, the U$300 billion-mark.

As for imports, it is expected a growth of 27.3%, reaching, therefore, the mark of US$ 202.3 billion.

Should these numbers materialize, Brazil will have more than US$ 500 billion in trade flow. Considering the sum of exports and imports, it will be the biggest results in all history (Power 360).


Brazil-China trade numbers in the first half

China is, by far, Brazil's largest trading partner: the destination of 34.2% of all Brazilian exports in 2021, equivalent to US$ 55.2 billion.

By way of comparison, the number of exports to the Asian country is greater than the total value of exports to the other nine countries that are in the ranking of the main destinations for Brazilian products combined. While China holds a percentage of 34.2%, the others, altogether, represent a share of 29.18%, as follows:

• United States (10.1%)

• Argentina (4.15%)

• Netherlands (3.31%)

• Chile (2.08%)

• Spain (2%)

• Singapore (1.97%)

• South Korea (1.95%)

• Mexico (1.82%)

• Japan (1.8%)

Among exports, 82% of them are represented by three products alone: soy (36%), iron ore and concentrates (30%), and crude oils from petroleum or bituminous minerals (16%).

Right after, the ranking is followed by beef (4.5%), cellulose (2.9%) and pork (1.6%).

As for imports, China is the origin of 21.7% of Brazilian purchases. However, in this case, the numbers are distributed in a variety of products and the Top 5 are:

1. telecommunications equipment (11%)

2. valves and thermionic tubes (7.9%)

3. other products from the manufacturing industry (4.8%)

4. organo-inorganic compounds (4.7%)

5. electrical machines and appliances (3.3%)

As last, sharing 2% and 3% of the amount, we can observe medicines and pharmaceutical products, machine parts and accessories, chemical fertilizers or fertilizers and electrical equipment.


$80 billion moved between the two countries

Since China has such an importance in Brazilian foreign trade, it was expected that the shipments between the two countries would be expressive. However, the statistics released exceed expectations.

As previously seen, between January and July 2021 the value of Brazilian exports to China was US$ 55 billion, which represents an increase of 34.1% compared to the same period in 2020.

On top of that, US$ 25 billion were imported in the first seven months of the year, 28.4% more than registered in the same period last year.

These values represent a trade chain of more than U$80 billion and a positive variation of 32.3% in relation to 2020 (Comexvis).

The expectation is that Brazil and China end the year with a current of trade greater than US$ 120 billion, an expressive milestone never seen before in the commercial history between the countries.

Thus, if implemented, this value will be 17% higher than the U$ 102.5 billion registered in 2020 (Comex do Brasil).

Largest surplus in history and $1 billion moved every 60 hours

The values of the trade balance between Brazil and China tend to be the highest in history, as they have reached an expressive surplus.

In the same period between January and July 2021, the balance surplus was US$ 29 billion, the largest in Brazil’s history, not only in terms of relations with China, but with any other country.

In addition, based on the value of the trade chain over the first seven months of the year, this economic partnership ships around US$ 1 billion every 60 hours.

In another words, between exports and imports, Brazil and China move each other US$ 1 billion every two and a half days (Comexvis).


Brazilian exports to Hong Kong

Another important point to be examined about this expressive relationship between Brazil and the Asian country is that the same happens with Hong Kong, a special administrative region in China.

When presenting the numbers, the partnership with Hong Kong is not added to the rest of the Chinese regions, but the opposite, it is analyzed apart.

Yet in 2021, the value of exports to the administrative region is already expressive, as it is higher than exports to other countries, such as Norway and Sweden together.

Between January and July this year, Brazil exported about US$ 1.2 billion to Hong Kong, while the value of exports to Sweden was US$ 430.2 million and to Norway US$ 697.8 million.

Which means that the two European countries, together, were the destination of US$ 1.1 billion of Brazilian exports, US$ 100 million less than that received by the Chinese region (Comexvis).


So, dear reader, did you know about these records for Brazilian exports and imports in 2021?

Did you know that it seems this year will be one of the best for our trade balance history? Very good, isn't it?

We hope these numbers had surprised you, as they have surprised us, and that you enjoyed the content.

In case you should have any questions or suggestions, leave us a comment.

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