Ana Gabriela Verotti Farah

Ana Gabriela Verotti Farah

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Largest Trading Partners of Brazil

Ana Gabriela Verotti Farah

Ana Gabriela Verotti Farah

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


In this article you will learn about the main countries providing and buying products from Brazil.

Brazil has played an important role in the international market in the past few years, and being an emerging economy, it is still developing economically. Gathered in the BRICS group, alongside Russia, India, China and South Africa, the South American country has increased its imports and exports over the years, becoming an important trading partner for other countries.

Imports and Exports Overview

Comparing the first bimester of 2013 with the same period in 2012, there has been a retraction of 7,8% in exports and an increase of 9,1% in the imports. In the first two months of 2013, there was a governmental budget deficit of USD 5,6 billion. The country lost ground with its four main partners: Argentina, China, the European Union and the United States.

In 2012, Brazil had a balance of trade surplus of USD 19,438 billion, which not only represented a drop of 34,8% in comparison to 2011 – when the surplus was of USD 29,794 billion – but was also the worst positive balance since 2002. In that year, the trading balance was equivalent to USD 13,195 billion.

China is the largest Brazilian partner when it comes to imports and exports. The Asian country had already surpassed the United States in terms of importing, and in 2012, also excelled the North Americans in exporting.


Brazilian exports increased 301% from 2002 to 2012, from USD 47 billion to USD 223 billion. However, from 2011 to 2012 there was a drop of 5,3%, from USD 256 billion to USD 242,6 billion.

The 10 main destinations for Brazilian products in 2012 were:

  1. China – 41,2%
  2. USA – 26,7%
  3. Argentina – 18%
  4. Netherlands – 15%
  5. Japan – 8%
  6. Germany – 7,3%
  7. India – 5,6%
  8. Venezuela – 5,1%
  9. Chile – 4,6%
  10. Italy – 4,6%


Brazilian imports increased 372% between 2002 and 2012, from USD 47 billion to USD 223 billion. In comparison to 2011, 2012 also registered a drop of 1,4%.

In 2012, the 10 main countries from where Brazil imported products were from:

  1. China – 34,2%
  2. USA – 32,4%
  3. Argentina – 16,4%
  4. Germany – 14,2%
  5. South Korea – 9,1%
  6. Nigeria – 1,2%
  7. Japan – 1,1%
  8. Italy – 1,1%
  9. France – 1%
  10. India – 1%


China increased its trades between Latin America in 2,550% from 2000 to 2012, and its economic relations with Brazil increased from USD 6,5 billion to USD 77 billion between 2003 and 2011.

Confirming the forecast of the MDIC or Ministério do Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio Exterior, the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, China took the United States place as the largest Brazilian trading partner in 2012. The country was also the main destination for all of the national exports. Brazil bought USD 34,248 billion from the Chinese, which represents an increase of 4,4% in comparison to 2011, when the amount paid for the purchases was of USD 32,790 billion.

Brazil is the largest exporter of soybean and soybean oil to China. The country also exports iron ore in large quantities so the Chinese can use it to produce steel. On the opposite side, the main products Brazil imported from China were electric equipment, machines and mineral fuels.

The imports from Brazil to China decreased from 2,4% in 2012 to 1,9% in 2013, which represents USD 3 billion less for Brazilian coffers. There were fewer purchases of oil, soya and ferro-alloys, among others.

United States

Brazil is one of the ten major trading partners of the United States, which is also composed by countries such as Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, South Korea, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. The United States was the only destination where Brazil exported more in 2012 than in 2011. In all of the other countries and trade blocs, the levels of exports were lower.

The main products exported for the North Americans are mineral fuel, oil, iron, steel, machinery and beverages. The top import categories were machinery, mineral fuel, aircraft, electrical machinery and optic and medical instruments.

USA imports from Brazil dropped from 1,6% to 1,2%, which represents over USD 1,6 billion. There was a decrease mainly in the sales of engines, oil and coffee sectors.


Brazil and Argentina have been under the Mercosur regime since 1993, which means that, theoretically there were economic relations between the two countries. What happened, however, was a series of restrictions to the trading of products. Since 2011, Argentina has determined some customs barriers for products that originated not only from Brazil, but from other countries.

Brazilian exports also faced restrictions in Argentina. In February 2012, the Argentine government decided to regulate the quantities and kinds of products that would cross customs. The protectionist measures that aimed to increase the industrial sector were established in 2011, and by September, 2012, there was already a drop of 14% in Argentinian imports and 12% in exports.

In 2012 the Argentinian economy grew less than 2%, which made Brazilian exports to the neighbor country drop 20,7%, from USD 22,7 billion in 2011 to USD 18 billion in the next year. Brazil also imported less from Argentina: in 2012, USD 16,4 billion were spent in imports, a 2,7% drop in comparison to the previous year.

The most affected sectors of this decrease were the automobile, electrical machinery and iron ore sectors.

The economic relations between the two countries remain difficult. In September 2013, the Argentine government increased the barriers it created by the end of August against Brazilian products. There were restrictions in mainly seven sectors: footwear, textiles, paper and cellulose, auto parts, furniture, food and fitness equipment.