Brazilian trading numbers drop amid pandemic

exports imports Brazilian trading numbers drop amid pandemic
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Brazil registered a 7-percent decline in exports between March and April, while imports dropped 20.6 percent over the same stretch, according to data published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In comparison to Q1 2019, export and import numbers decreased 5 and 15 percent, respectively.

In contrast to other G20 members, however, Brazil recorded a trade surplus. G20 economies had an average drop of 4.3 percent in exports and 3.9 percent in imports — the lowest number since Q2 2017. Meanwhile, Brazil saw an increase of 0.9 percent in exports and 2.8 in imports from the previous quarter. According to the OECD, Brazil was “initially less exposed to the Covid-19 outbreak than most G20 economies during that period, as the exponential growth [in cases] started in late-April.”

Not just the coronavirus

Though the pandemic has had an impact on Brazilian trade, it has simply exacerbated a downward trend that began in 2018. In Q4 2019, the country registered a drop of 8.1 percent in imports and 1.5 percent in exports. In relation to that, the OECD noted that “the increase in Q1 2020 illustrates a ‘recovery’ effect, but the real levels are still below the ones presented in Q3 last year.”

The two other Latin American G20 countries saw trade deficits in Q1 2020. In full lockdown since March 19, Argentina had the worst performance among the group’s members, registering a 14.3-percent drop in exports and a 1.7-percent drop in imports. In Mexico, where President Andrés Manuel López Obrador initially denied the severity of Covid-19, the country saw an increase of 1 percent in exports, but a 1.2-percent drop in imports.

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