For the first time in the history of Brazilian foreign trade, crude oil surpassed soybeans and became the main product exported by Brazil, according to data from the trade balance of the first quarter of 2020, from the Secretariat of Foreign Trade (Secex) Ministry of Economy.

In November last year, adding crude oil and oil products, petroleum was the most important product on the list of Brazilian exports. In the first three months of this year, alone, crude oil started to occupy the position of leader in the national export basket.

As with soy and iron ore, China was the main destination for Brazilian foreign oil sales, accounting for 53.8% of the country’s total exports.

From January to March, oil exports totaled US $ 6.318 billion, an increase of 18.6% compared to the same period in 2019. The item accounted for 12.8% of total Brazilian exports and 53.9% in shipments of the national extractive industry.

In addition to China, Brazil exported oil to India (US $ 529 million), the United States (US $ 428 million), Spain (US $ 321 million) and Portugal (US $ 364 million).

Rio de Janeiro accounted for 84.1% of national exports, with revenues of US $ 4.7 billion. Only two other states – São Paulo and Espírito Santo- appear in Secex statistics as oil exporters: São Paulo (US $ 723 million) and Espírito Santo (US $ 163 million).

From January to March, exports from Rio de Janeiro registered an increase of 17.5%, while external sales from São Paulo and Espirito Santo fell by 22.4% and 48.9%, respectively, in the first quarter. of the year.

Despite the 18.6% increase in the first three months of the year, the revenue generated by oil exports in 2020 should be well below the US $ 24.2 billion billed by the country in 2019 with foreign sales of commodities, due to the sharp drop in international oil prices recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

The revenue obtained could also be affected by the agreement reached on Sunday (12) by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producing nations, to reduce the global supply in the record volume of 9.7 million barrels per day.

The cut, which represents 10% of world supply, aims to keep oil prices from falling as a result of reduced demand, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The reduction in production may, on the one hand, result in an increase in the price of the commodity in the international market, but also increase the pressure for Brazil to reduce its production, which would affect the revenue obtained from exporting the product.

Source: Comex do Brasil