UPDATE 1-Brazil posts January trade deficit; imports and exports fall
(Adds details on imports, exports)
SAO PAULO Feb 2 (Reuters) - Brazil posted a wider-than-expected trade deficit in January even after imports and exports tumbled, government data showed on Monday.
The trade deficit of $3.174 billion was smaller than the $4.068 billion shortfall of a year earlier. The median forecast of 17 analysts surveyed by Reuters was for a deficit of $3 billion.
Brazil posted a surplus of $293 million for December.
Imports dropped 12 percent from January 2014, while the Brazilian real fell 9 percent against the U.S. dollar. Exports decreased 10.4 percent as prices for iron ore, soybeans and other key commodities exports declined, too.
Brazil, which International Monetary Fund data shows is the Americas' most closed major economy, posted its first annual trade deficit in 14 years in 2014.
A trade agreement between the Mercosur, the South American trading bloc that Brazil belongs to, and the European Union has been in the works for nearly two decades. (Reporting by Asher Levine and Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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