Brazil logs record trade surplus despite troubles


RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil logged a record $48-million trade surplus last year, a silver lining to its economic and political turmoil, the government said Monday.

The country’s key oil, auto and sugar exports fell at a slower pace than its plunging imports, foreign trade secretary Abrao Neto said.

The Brazilian government is vowing to drag Latin America’s biggest economy out of recession.

The trade ministry said exports exceeded imports by $47,692 million in 2016.

That was the biggest such trade surplus since current records began in 1989.

Exports declined by 3.5 percent compared to 2015 but imports plunged by more than a fifth, the ministry said.

“Exports and imports are both expected to grow in 2017,” Neto said.

Brazil’s economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015 and a further fall of around 3.5 percent was forecast for 2016.