September 1, 2017 / 6:19 PM / 23 days ago

Brazil trade surplus sets August high, nears $50 billion in 2017

FILE PHOTO: A worker fills a 1-tonne super sack with coffee beans for export at a coffee warehouse in Santos, Brazil, on December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s trade surplus set a monthly record on August as commodity prices rose, contributing to a gradual economic recovery and a stable currency, official data showed on Friday.

Brazil posted a trade surplus of $5.599 billion in August, the biggest for the month since the current data series began in 1989, the Trade Ministry said.

Exports totaled $19.475 billion and imports $13.876 billion.

Brazil had a trade surplus of $48.109 billion between January and August, also a record. The surplus in the year to date exceeds the $47.7 billion surplus for all of 2016.

Exports rose across the board in August, from raw materials such as soybeans to manufactured goods such as automobiles. Higher prices of iron ore, oil, coffee and sugar contributed to the record surplus, ministry data showed.

Economists expect a record-high trade surplus of $61.35 billion this year, according to a weekly central bank survey released on Monday.

Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Chizu Nomiyama

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