BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil posted a $4 billion trade surplus in February, the strongest performance for the month since 2017, official data showed on Thursday, amid higher volumes and prices of exported goods.
The monthly result topped the median forecast of a $3.55 billion surplus in a Reuters poll of economists, and was more than double the $1.8 billion surplus recorded in the same period a year ago.
According to the Economy Ministry, exports surged 32.6% from February 2021 to $22.9 billion, benefiting from a 22.6% expansion in volumes and a 13.5% increase in prices.
Imports rose 22.9% to $18.9 billion as a 30.9% rise in prices more than compensated for a decline of 2.5% in the volume of goods purchased by Brazil.
In the first two months, the country’s trade surplus reached $3.8 billion, jumping 125.4% from a year earlier.
The Economy Ministry said it expected a record trade surplus of 79.4 billion this year due to a decline in imports, amid more moderate growth in global trade.
The projection, however, was made before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that is casting a shadow of uncertainty over trade between countries due to supply bottlenecks after several sanctions were imposed by Western nations on Russia.
(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan)