The Brazilian agribusiness trade balance data for May show how our exports keep growing year after year. This month, the value of goods traded abroad reached US$ 16.6 billion, a 10% increase when compared to the same period in 2022. The results compensated for a decreasing trend of the entire Brazilian trade balance. In all, at the month’s end, agriculture and livestock products had a surplus of US$ 15.2 billion.
In May, the leading product in our agribusiness export line was soybean, which made up 48.9% of total exports and yielded US$ 8.1 billion in revenue, an increase of 22.9% compared to the same period in 2022. The second most exported product was soybean bran, which saw an increase of 32% when compared to May 2022 and yielded US$ 1.4 billion. The other notable exports in the Brazilian agribusiness line were raw sugarcane, fresh beef, and fresh chicken meat.
Brazil’s main export destination in May 2023 was China, with a share of 40.7%, followed by the European Union (13.9%) and the United States (5%). Other countries also had remarkable shares: Argentina (3.9%), Thailand (3.4%), Turkey (2%), Indonesia (1.9%), India (1.9%), Mexico (1.8%), and South Korea (1.7%). Some destination countries showed a significant performance in May 2023 compared to May 2022. Among these countries, the highlights are Argentina (+175.6%), driven by soybean exports (an increase of US$ 418.9 million); and South Korea (+74.1%), driven by soybean bran exports (an increase of US$ 85.3 million).
Trade balance highlight: soybean
In the 2021/2022 harvest, Brazil was the world leader in soy production, with 125.5 million tons. For the 2022/2023 harvest, the National Supply Company (Conab) foresees that the Brazilian production of soybeans will reach 155.7 million tons, an increase of 24% over the previous harvest. Brazil is also the largest world exporter of soybeans. In 2022, Brazilian exports were approximately US$ 46.6 billion, an increase of 20.5% over the previous year.
In the year 2023, between the months of January and May, Brazilian exports reached US$ 26.5 billion, corresponding to an increase of 9.6% compared to the same period in 2022. In the same period, in volume, exports totaled 49.0 million tons, which represents an increase of 13.9% compared to 2022. The annual performance both in value and volume represents the highest in the analyzed period, 2013-2023. By 2023, the top three destinations for exports of the featured product are China (US$ 18.6 billion; 70.1% of the total); European Union (US$ 1.7 billion; 6.5%); and Argentina (US$ 1.0 billion; 3.8%).
In regards to international prices of the product, according to the World Bank, a downward trend is observed beginning in July 2022. In the analyzed period, 2013-2023, the peak of the product’s price index occurred in June 2022, when it reached US$ 737.06 per ton. In 2023, in the year to May, prices registered a drop of 9.2% in relation to the average price in the same period of 2022. Considering only the month of May, the price presented a reduction of 17.8% in relation to the price in May 2022.