Brazilian agribusiness started 2023 with another positive result in its trade balance. In January, the value of goods traded abroad reached US$ 10.2 billion, a 16.4% increase when compared to the same period in 2022. The positive outcome meant a surplus of US$ 8.7 billion.
In January, the leading product in our agribusiness export line was corn, which made up 17.3% of total exports and yielded US$ 1.8 billion in revenue, a significant increase of 166.4% compared to the same period in 2022. The second most exported product was fresh chicken meat, which saw an increase of 40.2% when compared to January 2022 and brought in US$ 806.7 million. The other remarkable exports in the Brazilian agribusiness line were fresh beef, soybean bran, and raw sugarcane.
Brazil’s main export destination in December 2022 was China, with a share of 19.9%, followed by the European Union (16.8%) and the United States (7.4%). Other countries also had remarkable shares: Japan (4.8%), South Korea (3.6%), Vietnam (3.4%), Saudi Arabia (2.2%), Indonesia (2.1%), and India (2%).
Some destination countries showed a relevant performance in January 2023 compared to January 2022. Among these countries, the highlights are Japan (+92.6%), driven by corn exports (an increase of US$ 231.7 million); and South Korea (+69.8%), also driven by corn sales (an increase of US$ 74.5 million).
Trade balance highlight: wheat
In 2022, Brazil harvested approximately 10.6 million tons of wheat, according to the National Supply Company (CONAB). The result is significant: a 37.4% increase compared to 2021. Some factors that influenced this increase are the international market conditions for the product, with higher demand and attractive prices for producers. In terms of foreign trade, Brazilian exports of wheat in 2022 were approximately 4.1 million tons, an increase of 140% over the previous year. Similarly, in 2022, wheat exports recorded a significant value growth, with an increase of 200% compared to 2021.
In 2023, wheat exports from Brazil reached US$ 283.3 million in January, the best result in the period analyzed (2013-2023). This performance is 26.7% higher than that seen in the same period in 2022. In the first month of 2023, Brazilian exports were focused on the three main destinations: Indonesia (44.9% of the total), Vietnam (18.8%), and Saudi Arabia (16.2%).
Regarding the commodity’s international prices, according to the World Bank, it is observed that their peak—considering the period since January 2013—occurred in May 2022, when wheat prices reached US$ 522.29/ton. An upward movement in those prices was seen in the first half of 2022 due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s leading wheat producers and exporters.
In January 2023, the average price of a ton of wheat was US$ 380.36, which means an increase of 1.6% concerning the average price in the same period of 2022.