The Brazilian trade balance in 2019 remains positive, only with setbacks for chicken this year. Beef exports performed well in 2019, in which case a better trade relationship with China justifies this premise. The still highly devalued real also contributes to this scenario, keeping the competitiveness of Brazilian meat very high in the international market, allowing the expansion of Brazilian beef shipments to other destinations, both traditional and non-traditional importers.
For the overall macroeconomic scenario, few changes are still observed, the economy grows slowly in 2019. According to the Focus Bulletin, the growth forecast for the current year is of only 0.92%. Other problems are also noticeable, starting with the difficulty in creating jobs, as well as household indebtedness, which remains at alarming levels. For 2020 there is greater optimism, with the Focus Bulletin projecting an economic growth of around 2.17%. It is important to emphasize that the economic policy is still assertive, being well accepted by the market in general. Approval of the Pension Reform was the first obstacle to be overcome, now the focus shifts to both administrative and tax reforms. Other points must be highlighted, starting with measures that stimulate consumption, such as the partial release of FGTS accounts. Privatization also remains on the agenda.
In the external scenario, political riots in South America still draw attention, with foci of crisis in Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and more recently in Bolivia. This kind of situation keeps investments away from the continent, and even Brazil, in better condition, may end up suffering the consequences of neighboring problems indirectly. Of course, Brazil also has some foci of political instability, such as the recent decision of the Supreme Court to revoke second-instance imprisonment, which may change the course of the national politics. Another element is the exit of President Jair Bolsonaro from PSL party, which may lead to greater difficulty in approving key agendas in the Lower House and Senate. Under such conditions it is understandable that the real continues to operate strongly devalued, with the dollar still above the level of BRL 4.15.