Brazil trade surplus in 2009 was 24.615 billion US dollars the lowest since 2002 (13.13 billion USD) and the worst since President Lula da Silva has been in office, according to the latest release from the Development, Trade and Industry ministry.
The surplus was actually 1.4% less than in 2008, but what was really significant was the contraction of Brazil's overall foreign trade (exports plus imports) which in 2009 added up to 279.889 billion USD, down 24.5% from the 371 billion USD of 2008.
Exports in 2009 reached 152.252 billion USD (with a daily average of 609 million USD) which is 22.2% lower than in 2008 (782 million USD per day).
Imports on the other hand totalled 126.367 billion USD with an average dialy of 510 million USD, down 25.3% from the daily average of 2008, 638 million USD.
In December 2009, the trade surplus was 1.435 billion USD with exports totalling 13.7 billion (daily average of 623 million USD) which represents a 0.7% drop from the same month in 2008 (628 million USD) and 1.45 billion compared to November 2009 (632 million USD)
Imports in December added up to 12.28 billion USD with a daily average of 558,4 million USD which represents 6.8% increase over December 2008 (522 million USD) and a fall of 7.2% compared to November 2009 with 601 million USD.
The 22.2% fall in exports in 2009 is the most pronounced since Brazil begun registering the evolution of the country's foreign trade. Some significant figures on the past six decades show that exports plummeted 19.8% in 1952; 6.1% in 1999 and 8.6% in 1990.The three years coincide with domestic political upheavals.
The Ministry's target for 2009 had been established at 160 billion USD.
As to imports the 25.3% drop of last year was the worst since 1953 when thye plummeted an extraordinary 33.5%.
Brazil's central bank target for 2010 is exports totalling 170 billion USD and imports 155 billion with a trade surplus of 15 billion USD.