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China surpasses US as Brazil's top trading partner

Sao Paolo: In what locals describe as a "historic change" -- as the US has been Brazil's biggest trading partner since the 1930s -- China has become Brazil's top trading partner. The sum of Brazil's exports and imports with China reached $3.2 billion in April, over the $2.8 billion in its trade with the US in a trend that the Brazilian trade minister is predicting will continue throughout 2009.
China moved into the top spot in March and repeated the performance in April with figures that "surely" will make the Asian giant the leader in the first four months and that will continue all year long "because the economy of the United States is weak as a result of the crisis," Miguel Jorge said in remarks quoted by the Agencia Estado news agency.
"If China grows 7 percent in the second quarter, it will easier to maintain that same rate of expansion in the second half of the year, given that the country is already showing a better recovery than had been hoped," Jorge said.
The minister said that Brazil could end 2009 with a growth rate of 7 percent in its businesses with Beijing and a bilateral trade surplus of $15 billion.
The main products that Brazil exports to China are soy, accounting for 33 percent of the total; iron ore, 25 percent, and petroleum, 10 percent, according to ministry figures.
The South American country mainly imports industrialized products from China, including parts for telephones, liquid crystal display screens, as well as coke to be used as fuel. [06/05/09]


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