BRASILIA, Brazil – Brazil says it has registered its highest-ever trade deficit, which reached more than $5.39 billion in the first five months of the year.
Officials blame much of the record deficit on state-owned oil company Petrobras' recent purchases of crude oil.
Authorities in Brazil have warned that 2013 will be a difficult year for exports in its commodity-based economy due to the sluggish recovery in Europe and the United States and the slowdown in China's growth, which had fueled much of Brazil's boom.
According to data reported Monday by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Commerce, Brazil's exports totaled $93.29 billion from January through May. At the same time, however, the country imported $98.68 billion worth of goods.