Brazil’s Trade Results and Top Trading Partners in 2009

Brazil is one of the leading developing countries, one of the four emerging markets comprising the B-R-I-Cs (i.e., Brazil, Russia, Indian and China). Its economy has overall proved to be resilient during the global economic crisis. Nevertheless, Brazil did not escape the crisis unscathed. According to Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry & Commerce, Brazil’s exports decreased nearly 25% from 2008 (US$198 billion) to 2009 (US$153 billion), and its imports likewise decreased about 25% during that period from US$173 billion to US$127 billion.

In 2009, for the first time, China became the largest importer of Brazilian products, replacing the United States. Although exports decreased by about 20% from 2008 to 2009 due to the global economic crisis, exports to China increased by over 20% from during that period (comprising 10.2% of Brazil’s total exports). Meanwhile exports to the United States decreased by nearly 40%, comprising 10.2% of Brazil’s total exports. The remaining countries rounding up the top five export markets in 2009 were Argentina, Holland and Germany, comprising 8.4%, 5.3% and 4% of Brazil’s total exports, respectively.

Brazil has a very strong industrial base. It exports not only natural resources and agricultural products, but also industrial and commercial products. At the top of the list are natural resources (like iron ore)) and agricultural products (like soy beans, coffee and sugar). However, moving down the list, their manufactured products include vehicle parts, airplanes, petrochemical products and ethanol.

Meanwhile, in regards to imports, both the United States and China again are the top two countries that export to Brazil. The United States is the top country (comprising 15.7% of Brazil’s imports) and China came in second place in 2001 (comprising 12.5%). Both countries decreased exports to Brazil by 20% from 2008 to 2009. Rounding up the top five countries are Argentina, Germany and Japan, comprising 8.8 %, 7.7% and 4.2% of Brazil’s total imports, respectively. Imported products include passenger cars, medicines, vehicle parts, potassium chloride, engines and machines.