Exports fell sharply by 24 percent over the previous month to USD 16 billion. Compared with the same month last year, sales rose a meager 0.38 percent.
Exports of raw materials rose by an annual 5.3 percent due to a surge in crude oil shipments (+135 percent yoy to USD 1.1 billion). Sales of soybean increased 49 percent and those of live cattle rose 36 percent. In contrast, exports of semi manufactured goods fell 5.8 percent, mainly due to lower sales of cast iron (-43.1 percent), gold (-42.6 percent) and aluminum (-39.5 percent). Shipments of manufactured products shrank 2.6 percent.
Exports to the Eastern Europe decreased 25 percent; sales to Africa fell 18.3 percent; shipments to the Middle East decreased 14.5 percent and those to Mercosul and the EU shrank 6.2 and 5 percent, respectively. In contrast, shipments to Asia increased 17.4 percent boosted by a 27.7 percent rise in sales to China and exports to the US surged 11.4 percent.
Imports amounted to USD 20 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent from December and a 0.4 percent rise over a year earlier. Imports of consumer goods rose by an annual 8.8 percent; capityal goods increased 7.1 percent increase, while purchases of fuels and lubricants decreased 19 percent.
In the first month of 2014, China became Brazil's top trade partner, accounting for 13.5 percent of total exports and 19.9 percent of total imports.
In 2013, Brazil posted its smallest trade surplus in more than ten years.