Brazil's trade deficit highest in 18 years

Rio de Janeiro, July 2 (IANS) Brazil registered a trade deficit of $3 billion in the first six months of 2013, the highest in the past 18 years, the government said.

Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade said Monday that the first half of this year has seen the worst economic figures recorded in any initial six-month period since 1995, when Brazil registered a trade deficit of $4.22 billion, reported Xinhua.

Exports amounted to $114.5 billion, down 4.8 percent from the same period last year, while imports reached $117.5 billion, a record-high level.

The government attributed the poor results to the financial crisis in developed countries that caused the market for Brazilian products to shrink, and to an accounting delay that let the cost of some late 2012 oil imports to appear in the 2013 accounts.

Despite the poor results registered so far in 2013, the government expects improvements in the rest of the year.

Last year, Brazil had its worst trade performance in a decade, with a trade surplus of $19.43 billion, down 34.7 percent from 2011.

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