Trade Balance and Balance of Payments

BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 22 Nov 2021 by Affonso Pastore, Cristina Pinotti and Paula Magalhães

The recession of 2020 undermined imports, contributing to a steep decline in the current accounts, which were not sufficient to offset the outflow of capital. With this, the balance of payments was negative, while the foreign exchange flows were partly satisfied by sales of the Central Bank in the spot currency market (reducing the reserves), and partly by the increase in the net long position of banks.

In 2021, exports have increased vigorously, favored by the growth of world trade and the elevation of international commodity prices, generating large trade surpluses and reducing the current account deficit. In this report we analyze the behavior of imports and exports so far in 2021 using data from both the Secretariat of Foreign Commerce (Secex) and the Central Bank, whose differences were described in a previous report (“Problems Involving the Discrepancy of the Data in the Trade Balance”, of October 18, 2021).

Using numbers from the Central Bank, which gives different treatment to imports of oil platforms through the Repetro program and imports of “items with small value” and cryptocurrencies, we project a trade surplus in 2022 of US$ 34.8 billion and a current account deficit of US$ 19 billion.

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