Products that Brazil imports the most

Brazilian foreign trade is one of the most significative in Latin America, and the country today is one of the most relevant importers of industrialized goods. Much of Brazilian production is exported, especially with regard to commodities. Brazil is a large supplier of iron ore, soy, meat and coffee. On the other hand, the Brazilian market is often one of the first options considered by foreign companies looking to expand their businesses internationally. Data concerning the levels of imports being made helps to confirm this situation. According to the United Nations’ World Trade Organization (WTO), the amount of goods imported from other countries by Brazil was 7% higher in 2013 than in the year before. Brazil is currently ranked 21 in the ranking of countries with the largest share of global imports. Data from the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade shows that most of the imported products are industrialized goods or parts that will be used in manufacturing processes by Brazilian companies. The categories below highlight the most common products imported to Brazil, based on reports by the Ministry. Figures relate to the FOB value of the imports made in 2014, between January and September. The 10 categories below and its subcategories represented a total of more than USD 81 billion. This amount represents around 46,5% of the total import by Brazil between January and September of 2014, which corresponds to USD 174,33 billion.

1) Oil and its derivatives

Goods derived from oil are, by far, the most imported products in Brazil. They represent a sum of nearly USD 22,49 billion, around 12,9% of the total that was imported to Brazil during the analyzed period. The products included in this category are:

  • Crude petroleum oils
  • Fuel oil, like diesel
  • Naphthas

 2) Vehicles – parts and components

The Brazilian production of vehicles represents almost 20% of all the sector’s contribution to the GDP. The import of such goods and its components were responsible for USD 13,70 billion from January to September 2014, which is 7,8% of the total imported in this period. The goods included in this category are:

  • Automobiles
  • Cargo vehicles
  • Parts and components of vehicles and tractors

3) Electronic components related to communications

Even though there are technologic poles in some Brazilian regions, the country is still dependent on electronics imported from other countries, mostly out of China and other Asian countries. The import of electronics corresponded to USD 8,71 billion, nearly 5% of the Brazilian imports as a whole. The goods included in this category are:

  • Microelectronics
  • Integrated circuits
  • Parts of transmitter or receiver devices
  • Circuits and other parts relating to telephony

4) Chemicals and polymers

The agriculture sector is very strong in Brazil and is crucial for the GDP, and is one of the main economic activities in the country. Such power equals a great demand for foreign companies supplying the Brazilian market with input, since their import is one of the subcategories that compose a large share of this sector. Also, other compounds, such as polymers, were included in this category. The import of chemicals and polymers reached nearly USD 8,26 billion, approximately 4,7% of all the goods imported to Brazil. Among the goods included in this category are:

  • Chemical compounds
  • Potassium chloride
  • Fertilizers
  • Ethylene polymers

5) Motors, gears, compressors and similars

Many of the motors used by the Brazilian industry are also imported, just like other machines such as ventilators and compressors. This import of goods under this category totalled USD 5,85 billion, or 3,3% of all the country’s imports. The goods included in this category are:

  • Motors
  • Bearings
  • Gears
  • Pumps
  • Compressors
  • Ventilators

6) Natural gas and derivatives

According to the 2014 National Energy Balance, around 10,3% of the energy consumed in Brazil is generated from natural gas or liquified petroleum gas (GLP), and much of this amount comes from other countries: almost USD 5,38 billion, which is early 3,1% of natural gas and its derivatives was imported to Brazil, during the analyzed period. The main exporters are neighbour nations, mainly from Bolivia via Gasbol pipeline. Two subcategories were included in this classification:

  • Natural gas
  • Liquified gas

7) Human and animal medication

Even with many regulatory restrictions established by Anvisa, the National Agency of Health Surveillance Agency, many of the drugs and medicines sold in Brazil come from abroad. The import of such goods during this time was USD 5,12 billion, which corresponds to 2,9% of all the imports.

8) Computers components, and measure instruments

Just as seen with electronics, measure instruments and computer components are usually produced abroad. The sum of the imports of these goods was USD 4,12 billion, more than 2,3% of all the goods. Goods included in this category are:

  • Measuring devices
  • Verification instruments
  • Data processing machines
  • Calculation devices
  • Computer parts

9) Insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides

Insecticides and similar goods is another category related to agribusiness. The import of these goods was amongst the top 10 in Brazil due to its high demand and because many players are from Europe or North America. USD 2,48 billion was the amount generated from the import of goods in this category, a little more than 1,4% of everything imported during this period.

10) Bituminous coal

The final item in the list is, again, related to energy. Even though Brazil owns large reserves of mineral coal, most of them are of low quality. To supply the demand for better quality bituminous coal, the country imported USD 1,82 billion, which equals 1% of all the imports made in Brazil during the same period.

Innovation Norway is responsible for promoting the Norwegian industry abroad. Our office in Rio de Janeiro manages Innovation House Rio, our business incubator office, and helps Norwegian companies in their efforts towards the Brazilian market.

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Posted in Brazil

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