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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil posted the highest trade surplus ever recorded for March, driven by solid oil sales, according to government data on Monday.

The trade balance was positive at $10.956 billion in the month, exceeding the median forecast of a $9.05 billion surplus, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

It was the highest surplus for the period since the series began in 1989, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and Services.

Exports reached $33.060 billion, up 7.5% from March last year, boosted by a 53.8% jump in exports and 8.9% growth in soybean exports.

In February, crude oil exports suffered a sharp decline, and the ministry had anticipated a rebound in March amid high volatility in oil exports.

Total imports in March fell 3.1% from a year earlier to $22.104 billion.

The ministry forecast that the country’s trade surplus will reach $84 billion this year, up from $62 billion in 2022.

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