Brazil has recorded a record trade surplus des-
pite the current pan-demic. Most of the surplus increase in August is due to the fall in imports from the mining industry, down 59.51 per cent year-on-year and the manufacturing industry, minus 23.78 per cent
Brazil enjoyed a record trade surplus of $6.6 billion (£4.9bn) during the month of August, the highest for the month since 1989.
However, the figures are misleading if taken at face value as overall they dropped by 5.5 per cent with the fall in imports – notably the mining industry – producing the seemingly upbeat results.
Nonetheless, in eight months the trade surplus reached $36,594bn (£27,347bn), the third-best his-torically in the past 40 years.
Exports totalled $138.633 billion (£103bn) this year to date, a decrease of 6.6 per cent on a year ago, while imports were $102.039 billion (£76bn), down 25.1 per cent.
Agricultural exports rose by 32.64 per cent, including sales of soybeans worth $443.3 million (£331m) year-on-year and raw cotton with a $80.9 million (£60.5m) increase.
Meanwhile, farmers are being blamed for South American wetlands fires, including a blaze that destroyed a bird sanctuary in Brazil.
September is historically the worst month for blazes in South America, set by farmers seeking to clear land, though the fires have been burning now for many months.
This year the rate of destruction is at its highest it has been in a decade.
Among the areas destroyed was a bird sanctuary in Brazil that had been housing the world’s last surviving blue macaws.
The Pantanal wetlands – which reach into Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay – are burning at a record pace this year while in Argentina thousands of acres of wetlands around the Parana River have been ablaze for months.
The fires are largely started by farmers, who use the blazes to clear vegetation to allow the land to be used for cattle grazing or crop growing.
The drought conditions that have marked this summer in both Argentina and Brazil have added to the spread of the flames.
Argentina Deputy Environment Minister Sergio Federovisky has tried to play down the destruction, arguing that it is no worse but rather the equivalent of what was happening in the Amazon last year.
“They’re trying to change an ecosystem, freeing up natural land to encourage commercial activity,” he said.
The destruction in the Pantanal wetlands – the size of Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal and the Netherlands combined – is likely to worsen droughts in the region and push more species to the brink of extinction, scientists have warned.