TRADE AND INVESTMENT

Brasil's trade surplus with G20 countries to be a record in 2023

Brasil's exports to the G20 countries totaled 265 billion dollars and represented 78% of everything Brasil exported to the world in 2023. A growth of 4.6% on the previous year. Sales of industrial goods are still on the rise, but diversification is still a challenge. The Impulse of Exports study, published by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services (MDIC), mapped around 9,000 commercial opportunities for Brazilian products and services in the markets of the G20 member countries.

04/15/2024 6:09 PM - Modified 3 months ago
Brasil's trade balance with G20 countries had a surplus of 62.3 billion dollars in 2023. Crédito: Getty images

International trade can boost economic growth and provide resources for poverty reduction and environmental protection around the world. Together accounting for 75% of international trade and around 85% of the world's GDP, the G20 countries form a powerful economic bloc. But how is Brasil's trade balance with the G20 countries?

According to data from the Foreign Trade Secretariat of the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services (MDIC), in 2023, Brasil's exports to the countries of the bloc amounted to 265 billion dollars and represented 78% of everything Brasil exported to the world. This was an increase of 4.6% on the previous year, when exports to the G20 countries totaled 253 billion dollars. Imports, on the other hand, fell by 11.9% compared to the previous year, from 230 to 203 billion dollars.

Soy was the main product exported by Brasil to the G20 countries in 2023: it accounted for 18% of agricultural exports and a total of 48 billion dollars. Oil came in second with a total of 36 billion dollars, followed by iron ore with 25 billion dollars.

Technological resources

The country also exports sophisticated products such as aircraft and cars. In 2023, Brasil sold 3.5 billion dollars worth of airplanes and more than 6 billion dollars worth of cars for transporting goods, vehicle parts and accessories, civil engineering installations and equipment.

In all, goods from the manufacturing industry accounted for 48% of exports (127 billion dollars), followed by agricultural products 26% (68 billion dollars) and extractive industry 25.4% (67 billion dollars).

The country also exports sophisticated products such as aircraft and cars. In 2023, Brasil sold 3.5 billion dollars worth of airplanes and more than 6 billion dollars worth of cars for transporting goods, vehicle parts and accessories, civil engineering installations and equipment.

When it comes to imports, Brasil bought 203 billion dollars worth of products from the G20 countries, which represented 84% of everything the country bought from the world in 2023. Fertilizers, fuels and electro-electronic inputs accounted for 92.4% of imported products. The country imported 15 billion dollars in oil and 11 billion dollars in fertilizers. In the agricultural sector, wheat and rye were the most purchased products, totaling 1 billion dollars.

According to Herlon Brandão, director of MDIC's Department of Foreign Trade Statistics and Studies, all this export and import data led to a surplus for Brasil of 62.3 billion dollars in 2023, a record in the historical series that began in 1997. Furthermore, since 2016, Brasil's trade balance with the other G20 countries has been positive.

Brasil exported 3.5 billion dollars worth of airplanes last year. Crédito: Getty images
Brasil exported 3.5 billion dollars worth of airplanes last year. Crédito: Getty images

Diversification of products on the agenda

Brasil's main partner within the group is China, which is also Brasil's largest trading partner. Last year, Brasil exported 104 billion dollars to China and imported 53 billion dollars. The second largest partner is the European Union, followed by the United States and Argentina - all G20 member countries.

Export diversification is a challenge. For Tulio Cariello, Content Director of the Brasil-China Business Council (CEBC), there will be no changes in the coming years, but there is room for Brazilian producers and entrepreneurs to understand the Chinese market better. "For example, coffee is a product associated with Brasil abroad and has an emerging market in China due to urbanization. I think there is room for us to diversify our agenda where we are most competitive, which is the agribusiness sector. So we could make qualitative leaps with more elaborate products to be consumed directly by the Chinese," he analyzes.

According to Herlon Brandão, director of MDIC's Department of Foreign Trade Statistics and Studies, all this export and import data led to a surplus for Brasil of 62.3 billion dollars in 2023, a record in the historical series that began in 1997. Furthermore, since 2016, Brasil's trade balance with the other G20 countries has been positive.

Fruits, honey and dairy products are products that are widely consumed there, with high potential to be explored by Brasil and which could bring more variety to the export basket. However, today these sectors are still little explored by Brasil in the Chinese market.

On the other hand, Brazilian exports to the United States are mainly of goods from the manufacturing industry and amounted to 36 billion dollars in 2023. Semi-finished iron or steel products come first, according to data from the American Chamber of Commerce for Brasil and the Foreign Trade Secretariat (MDIC).

Export boost

For Igor Celeste, market intelligence manager at the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services (MDIC), the United States is the largest single investor in Brasil and represents ¼ of all direct investment in the Brazilian economy. 

The Agency produced the study Export Boost - G20 Special Edition, which identified more than 9,000 commercial opportunities for Brazilian products and services in the markets of the G20 member countries, with an emphasis on the agribusiness, food, beverages, fashion, home and construction, information technology, machinery and equipment sectors. Studies like this are an important tool for identifying trade and investment patterns, opportunities, risks and also for defining strategies to boost opportunities and generate income.

According to him, exports are not just about commodities, "there are a range of opportunities in the services sector. The motto has to be trade and investment diversification and, in this sense, the G20 countries are very important for this strengthening and for Brasil's own economic and trade integration with the world," Igor argues.

The Agency produced the study Export Boost - G20 Special Edition, which identified more than 9,000 commercial opportunities for Brazilian products and services in the markets of the G20 member countries, with an emphasis on the agribusiness, food, beverages, fashion, home and construction, information technology, machinery and equipment sectors.

G20 and trade

Thinking about good practices and trade relations between countries is part of the G20 through the Trade and Investment Working Group. The intention is to promote a debate on trade in the world today and contribute to its growth and cooperation between investment policies. The next meeting of the WG, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services, will be held on April 24 and 25 in Brasilia.

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