RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Brazil registered a record-high trade surplus of 67 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, the Ministry for Development, Industry and Trade announced on Tuesday.
According to the ministry, the trade surplus grew 40 percent from the amount registered in 2016, which was also record high at the time.
Exports rose 18.5 percent to 217.74 billion U.S. dollars, the highest figures in three years. Imports rose 10.5 percent to 150.74 billion U.S. dollars, the highest figures since 2015.
The rise of exports was due more to the rise of prices of Brazilian products than to the actual volume of exports.
According to the ministry, while sales rose 7.6 percent compared with 2016, income originating from exports increased 10.1 percent. Among them, primary products registered the sharpest increase of 28.7 percent.
Trade Minister Marcos Pereira hailed the positive figures and stressed the importance of rising exports.
"Exports rose in 2017, after five years. It is something to be stressed. The 18.5-percent rise evidences this extraordinary growth," he said.
China continues to be Brazil's largest trade partner: in 2017, exports to China amounted to 50.2 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for over 23 percent of the total amount. The United States ranked second, with 26.9 billion U.S. dollars, followed by Argentina and the Netherlands.
Imports from China amounted to 27.9 billion U.S. dollars. The United States also ranked second in terms of imports, followed by Argentina and Germany.