Brazilian exports to Europe rose significantly in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, indicating a welcome return to more dynamic trade flows.
Exports to the UK soared by 31% while those to the EU rose by a healthy 4.7%.
The figures are published in the latest ‘Europe Trade Monitor’ report from Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency,
Taking imports and exports together, bilateral trade between the EU and Brazil increased by 4.5% in the quarter compared to the same time last year.
While Brazilian exports to the UK soared in the quarter, overall bilateral trade between Brazil and the UK was down by 2%, mitigated by a sharp fall in UK exports to Brazil of 28%. EU exports to Brazil rose by 4.3% in the same period.
The new figures mean that Brazil’s trade deficit with the EU rose slightly – by 2% – but with the UK Brazil enjoys a healthy trade surplus of US$216.9m (£157.2m, €179.8m), a massive turnaround on the US$164.7m (£119.4m, €136.5m) deficit of 2020.
Across the board the rise in trade between Brazil and Europe was the result of a surge in exports of metal ores along with strong performances in key sectors such as soybeans and coffee.
Brazilian food and drink exports saw strong performances in the first quarter. Soybean exports to the EU rose by $133m (€110.2m, £96.4m), up 12% on the previous year. However, soybean exports to the UK dropped by 39% to $23.9m (£17.3m, €19.7m) as a result of the delayed harvests.
Coffee exports to the EU went up by $111m (€92m, £80.4m), an impressive rise of 18%, fuelled by what the Council of Coffee Exporters of Brazil (Cecafé) has called the best performance in the past five years, and on track to break the record for Brazilian coffee harvests. Brazilian coffee shipments to the UK increased in volume by 23%, reaching $31.3m (£22.6m, €25.9m) a 5% value rise on 2020 levels or $1.4m (£1m, €1.1m).
Brazil maintained a healthy demand for British products in the first quarter despite the overall drop in imports. There was a 46% rise in imports of British food and drink totalling $12m (£8.6m, €9.9m). This was followed by Brazilian demand for rubber and plastic products which rose by 16% to $4.7m (£3.3m, €3.8m).
The other main import was EU and UK finance, with $805m (€667m, £583.3m) of foreign direct investment (FDI) arriving in Brazil in the first quarter of 2021; including a $195m (€161.3m, £140.6m) investment into the automotive industry, and $74m (€61.3m, £53.6m) into Brazil’s sizeable aerospace industry.