Brazil to post first trade deficit since 2000

Brazil will close the year with a trade deficit of $2 billion, its first since 2000, the Foreign Trade Association AEB said Wednesday.

AEB attributed the expected deficit to a five percent fall in exports (expected to total $230.5 billion) linked to falling prices of commodities and foreign sales of Brazilian oil.

Another factor was a 4.2 percent jump in imports to $232.5 billion due to more favorable exchange rates and purchases of oil and derivatives.

"It will be Brazil's first trade deficit since 2000," AEB President Jose Augusto de Castro told AFP.

It will also be the worst trade performance in 15 years since a deficit of more than $6 billion in 1998.

In December, the association had projected that the country would post a trade surplus of $14.6 billion this year.

But in the first half of the year, Brazil accumulated a trade deficit of $3 billion, the worst result for this period in 18 years.

Last year the country posted a surplus of $19.4 billion, the lowest in 10 years, with exports reaching $242.5 billion and imports totaling $223.1 billion.