RIO DE JANEIRO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's exports to China nearly doubled in value in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, the government said on Friday.
The value of Brazil's China-bound exports rose 94.3 percent, buoyed by a price rise for raw materials such as oil and iron, the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade said.
In January and February, those exports brought in 6.246 billion U.S. dollars, mainly in sales of oil and iron, as well as soybeans, wood pulp and beef.
"China has a fixed demand for iron and soy. The increase in the value of Brazil's exports only reflects the increase in the price of commodities on the international market," economic consultant Alberto Pfeifer, of the Institute for Higher Studies at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), told Xinhua.
While "this increase in commodities is very beneficial for Brazil," said Pfeifer, in general "we can characterize Brazilian exports as mediocre, because ... they have been unable to bounce back in the segment of value-added goods, like manufactured and industrial" products.
In effect, oil, iron and soybeans represented 77 percent of the total Brazilian exports to China.
The ministry figures also confirm China as the world's leading destination for Brazil's exports, far ahead of the second-ranking country the United States, which took in 1.896 billion U.S. dollars worth of Brazilian exports over the same period.
"It is very positive for Brazil to continue to reinforce its trade ties with China, as it has to date, because the world is going to gravitate towards China in the next 50 or maybe 100 years," said Pfeifer.
China is also the leading destination market for Brazilian agricultural products, receiving 23.9 percent of Brazil's shipments in February, about nine percent more than over the same period last year due to higher soybean exports.