The increase in imports of inputs and machinery and equipment in 2021 signals a reaction of economic activity in the second year of the pandemic, after the initial shock caused by covid-19 in 2020, pointed out the Foreign Trade Indicator of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) .
The imported volume of capital goods – considered as investments in the calculation of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – grew by 3.5% compared to 2020. Imports of durable consumer goods increased by 46.1% from 2020 to 2021. Imports of intermediate goods, which include production inputs, reached a record level in 2021, with a growth of 25.6% compared to 2020.
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“In the comparison between the exported volume of capital goods, consumer durables and intermediate goods, only the latter shows a growth trend. In this group are the main Brazilian commodities”, pointed out Icomex, in a note from FGV.
In 2021, the Brazilian trade balance recorded a record surplus of US$ 61.2 billion, US$ 10.8 billion more than in 2020. The trade flow (exports plus imports) reached a peak of US$ 500 billion, due to a 34.2% increase in exports and a 38.2% increase in imports from 2020 to 2021.
The increase in exports was driven by a 29.3% rise in prices, while volume grew by 3.2%. In imports, the volume increased 21.9%, while prices advanced 13.1%.
China remained Brazil’s main trading partner, both in terms of exports and imports. China received 31.3% of all Brazilian exports in 2021 (up from 32.4% in 2020). The share of Chinese imports from Brazil was 23.4%. The Brazilian trade surplus with China increased from US$ 33 billion in 2020 to US$ 40.1 billion in 2021.
The United States was Brazil’s second largest trading partner. There was an increase in both exports and imports, but Brazil’s trade deficit with the United States increased from US$6.4 billion in 2020 to US$8.3 billion in 2021.
Trade with Argentina has moved Brazil from a surplus of US$ 591 million in 2020 to a deficit of US$ 69.9 million in 2021.
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