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In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Although foreign trade only represents around 39% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available), Brazil is the world's 26th-largest exporter and importer and the country has an enormous economic potential (WTO). Brazil mainly exports petroleum oils (16.7%), soya beans (14%), iron ores (8.6%), maze and corn (3.7%), and cane or beet sugar (3.3%); while its main imports are petroleum oils (11.9%), fertilizers (8.6%), parts and accessories for tractors and motor vehicles (2.8%), insecticides (2.4%), and petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons (2.3% - data Comtrade).

In 2022, Brazil’s main export partners were China (26.8%), the United States (11.4%), Argentina (4.6%), the Netherlands (3.6%), Spain (2.9%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (23.2%), the United States (18.6%), Argentina (4.7%), Germany (4.6%), India (3.3% - data Comtrade). Despite being the largest economy in Latin America and the ninth in the world, Brazil is still relatively closed compared to other large economies, with a low trade penetration and a low number of exporters relative to the population (its absolute number of exporters is roughly the same as that of Norway, a country with approximately 5 million people, compared to Brazil’s 213 million). However, the country has been implementing changes to improve trade, such as reducing the time for documentary compliance for both exporting and importing by enhancing its electronic data interchange system. Additionally, given that the EU is Brazil's second-biggest trading partner, they are working on a free trade agreement - as a part of the EU's Association Agreement negotiations with the Mercosur countries. Not only that, but the bloc has also been looking into signing a bilateral agreement with China in a plan to modernise and open it to other regions. Furthermore, since the inauguration of the newly-elected Brazilian president, Lula, in January 2023, Brazil and Argentina have been working to foster stronger trade ties and introduce a common currency.

Brazil’s trade balance is structurally positive but has declined in recent years due to a drop in the prices of raw materials, an increase in energy imports and a decline in the competitiveness of Brazilian products. According to the latest available data from WTO, in 2022, Brazil imported USD 292.2 billion and exported USD 334.1 billion in goods, while in services the country imported USD 79.4 billion and exported USD 39.4 billion. For the year as a whole, the World Bank estimated Brazil’s trade balance to be positive by 0.8% of GDP (from 0.9% one year earlier). According to the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services, as of November 2023, Brazilian exports totalled USD 300 billion, while imports stood at USD 213.5 billion.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 192,840193,162166,336234,690292,245
Exports of Goods (million USD) 231,890221,127209,180280,815334,136
Imports of Services (million USD) 73,37271,51452,17158,43979,473
Exports of Services (million USD) 34,04433,03327,51431,48239,455

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO), Latest data available.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 28.928.932.338.239.3
Trade Balance (million USD) 43,37326,54732,37036,36344,153
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 4,045-11,9347,7139,4064,536
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.71.3-9.512.00.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.1-2.6-2.35.95.5
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 14.214.815.818.619.3
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 14.614.116.519.620.0

Source: World Bank, Latest data available.

 
Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.96.04.03.43.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -2.8-0.31.62.42.6

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook, Latest data available.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
China 26.8%
United States 11.4%
Argentina 4.6%
Netherlands 3.6%
Spain 2.9%
See More Countries 50.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 23.2%
United States 18.6%
Argentina 4.7%
Germany 4.6%
India 3.3%
See More Countries 45.7%

Source: UN Comtrade Database, Latest data available.

 

Main Products

334.5 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Soya beans, whether or not brokenSoya beans, whether or not broken 14.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 12.8%
Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron...Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron pyrites 8.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.9%
Maize or cornMaize or corn 3.7%
See More Products 57.1%
292.3 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 8.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.5%
Mineral or chemical potassic fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical potassic fertilisers (excl. those in tablets or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 3.3%
Mineral or chemical fertilisers containing two or...Mineral or chemical fertilisers containing two or three of the fertilising elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; other fertilisers (excl. pure animal or vegetable fertilisers or mineral or chemical nitrogenous, phosphatic or potassic fertilisers); animal, vegetable, mineral or chemical fertilisers in tablets or similar forms or in packages of a gross weight of <= 10 kg 2.8%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.8%
See More Products 79.2%

Source: UN Comtrade Database, Latest data available.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import/Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest data available.

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Brazilian Real (BRL)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange rate.
Level of Currency Instability
The Real has recently been subject to increased volatility. In 2015, it fell to its lowed point compared to the U.S. Dollar in a decade, due to fiscal turmoil and signs of economic contraction.
Exchange Rate on :

 
 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Brazilian Real (BRL) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MAD 0.360.330.390.410.54

Source: World Bank, Latest data available.

 
 

Find out all the exchange rates daily on our service Currency Converter.

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Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Brazil is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Mercosur, ICC, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Brazil click here. International organisation membership of Brazil is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Brazil can be consulted here.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
No

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Party of the TIR Convention
No

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
- single administrative document (SAD)
- commercial invoice (in triplicate, preferably in Portuguese, with a detailed description of the goods, the country of purchase, origin and provenance, tariff details, registration number in the importer's register of commerce and the classification number of the goods)
- phytosanitary or health certificate;
- free sale certificate for cosmetics;
- radioactive non-contamination certificate;
- certificate of analysis and origin for wines, consular declaration for other types of alcoholic beverages;
- transport documents and packing list.

To go further, check out our service Shipping Documents.

Free-trade zones
There are currently 24 Free-Trade Zones and Export Processing Zones (EPZ) in Brazil, with only one completely operational (the Manhaus Free-Trade Zone). Other important Zones are the ones of Macapa, Tabatinga, Guajara-Mirim, Boa Vista and Bonfim.
For Further Information
Customs Department
The WTO website on Brazil's commercial policy
Non Tariff Barriers
A large number of imported products are subject to a prior license application to the SECEX (Secretariat for Foreign Trade), which is the only organisation authorised to issue this license. The license is valid for 60 days from the date of shipment of the goods (sometimes from the date of the license application). This period cannot be extended and is often insufficient. A new license application must then be made. For textiles, regulations are even stricter: the license is only issued if payment is carried out within 30 days following the date of the B/L (importers have to prove that they have effectively paid within the 30 days).

All imports must be accompanied at least by 2 copies of the commercial invoice and the B/L. In the case of non-compliance with the legal requirements of the country, customs officials have the right to impose large fines (commonly, up to 100% of the usual duties). It is advisable in any case to work with a very good Brazilian Customs broker, who stays up to date on Customs regulations.

One must consult the numerous sanitary regulations before undertaking any imports.

Since Brazil has launched the Brasil Maior (Greater Brazil) plan, a rise in trade protection has been observed.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Petrol, agricultural dumping, cotton, citrus fruit, heavy industry, patents (with the United States); aeronautical construction (with Canada); coffee, poultry, sugar, heavy industry (with the European Union). Brazil is often attacked for its import restrictions and on its side makes complaints about the agricultural subsidies in the OECD countries.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Brazil and the WTO
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the EU
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, inventoried by the EU

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Standards

National Standards Organisations
Brazilian Technical Standards Association
Integration in the International Standards Network
Member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Global Ecolabeling Network (GEN), the Pan-American Standards Commission (COPANT), the MERCOSUL Association for Standardisation (AMN) and of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which has become the GS1 after merging with a European group (an organisation concerning logistics chains and bar codes).
Obligation to Use Standards
Conforming to standards is obligatory for some products.
For others it is voluntary. As with all voluntary standards, market forces and preferences often lead to the need for a specific certification.
Classification of Standards
ABNT, NBR standards
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The Brazilian consumer's approach is twofold: the 40 million richest Brazilians have requirements close to those of OECD countries' markets regarding the quality standards of the goods they buy. On the other hand, the rest of the population is especially careful about prices and the product's commercial image. Brasil has strict rules regarding standards and an active group of standard organizations.
Online Consultation of Standards
The ABNT Catalogue
Certification Organisations
List of organisations authorised to issue certifications

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Latest Update: February 2024