[RIO DE JANEIRO] Trade between Brazil and China fell six per cent in 2014, Brazilian trade ministry figures showed Wednesday, after 2013 saw a peak.
Recent years have seen China overtake the United States as Brazil's leading trade partner on soaring demand for commodities including iron ore and soy, but a fall off in that demand dampened trade over the past 12 months, the figures show.
The Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce noted in Rio that bilateral trade totaling US$77.9 billion was down from US$83.3 billion a year earlier but added the latest figure was still above the 2011 and 2012 results. In 2004, the figure was just US$9.1 billion.
Brazilian exports of US$40.6 billion were down 12 per cent on 2013 while imports to Latin America's largest economy from the Asian giant hit US$37.3 billion, a rise of 0.1 per cent, giving Brazil a bilateral surplus of US$3.2 billion.
China was the destination for 18 per cent of all Brazilian exports, down from 19 per cent in 2013. In 2010, China's share was 15 per cent.
On Monday, Brazil, the world's seventh-largest economy, posted its first annual trade deficit in 14 years after dipping in and out of recession despite hopes of a World Cup-fueled boost, as overall imports outstripped exports by US$3.9 billion.
That was the first negative balance since 2000 when the trade gap stood at US$731.7 million, and compares to a US$2.5 billion surplus posted in 2013.
Facing a fifth year of poor growth, Brazil suffered across 2014 amid falling demand for its manufactured goods from leading trade partners such as struggling neighbor Argentina.