Flood-stricken state reports largest drop in imports among Brazilian states

Jun, 10, 2024 Posted by Sylvia Schandert

Week 202423

The director of Planning and Commercial Intelligence at the Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce, and Services (MDIC), Herlon Brandão, reported on Thursday (June 6th) that imports of foreign products in Rio Grande do Sul sank by 41.2% in May, marking the largest decline among all states. Concurrently, exports from Rio Grande do Sul decreased by 14% that month.

According to Brandão, the effect on sales takes longer to be felt since, although production may have stopped in many situations, some products may still be in the process of being shipped or kept in storage.

“In the first weeks, we did not notice an impact on exports because, even as production ceases, goods are already en route to ports, being stored or shipped. We gather data every two to three days after shipment. So, despite the halt in production, we observe a normal export flow,” he explained.

The impact on imports is more readily noticeable, Brandão noted. “We tend to block imports as soon as we feel the effects,” he said.

On the topic of rice imports, whose production was affected by the floods in Rio Grande do Sul, the MDIC noted an 11.1% increase in purchased volume, while the value rose by 47.3%. “For now, these increases are primarily from Mercosur countries, mainly Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina,” Brandão stated.

He suggested this growth might reflect supply constraints in Brazil. “However, the noticed growth is still too small to affirm that it is related to supply constraints,” he added.

Capital Goods

Brandão highlighted the significant increase in the import volume, particularly capital and consumer goods, since the end of last year. In May, compared to the same period last year, purchase volume rose by 7.5%. Year-to-date, this increase is 11.5%, offsetting a 9.2% drop in prices. For capital goods, the imported value grew by 13.4%, with a 17.5% increase in volume and a 4.2% drop in prices.

“This is a response to economic activity. There is continued growth in the import of capital goods,” Brandão said.

In the first five months of the year, imports from China grew by 11.9%, with a 35.7% increase in volume, which offset the 13.1% drop in prices. Notable imports include passenger cars (59.4%) and engines and machines (22.3%).


Exports declined by 7.1% in May. Despite maintaining April’s values, there was a fluctuation compared to May 2023’s peak. Soybeans had one of the worst performances, with a 13.7% drop in volume and a 17.6% decrease in prices. Iron ore also performed poorly, while unroasted coffee exports increased by 73% in value. Oil exports also showed strong growth, with a 35.9% increase.

Even with May’s decline, the total value exported in the first five months of the year ($138.8 billion) set a record for the period. Additionally, the trade balance surplus for the year to date ($35.9 billion) represented the best result in the historical series for this period.

Source: A Tribuna

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