Exchange traded funds that track Brazil, South Africa and Turkey could produce another round of headaches as the lingering trade deficits weigh on their economies and currencies.
Brazil, South Africa and Turkey are among the remaining so-called fragile economies if the Federal Reserve decides to tighten its monetary policy, as former members India and Indonesia have enacted enough economic reforms to hold up growth. [Emerging Market ETFs: Keep Watch Over Fragile Three]
Consequently, with falling commodity prices and a strong U.S. dollar, the fragile three’s growing trade deficits could weigh on country-related ETFs, like the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (NYSEArca: EZA), iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NYSEArca: TUR) and iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ).
Brazil, biggest coffee producer, the second largest producer of soybeans, third largest of corn and exporter of oil and iron, is witnessing its current-account deficit distend. The country boasted a 1.9% trade surplus of gross domestic product in April 2005, but by January of this year, Brazil is seeing a deficit of 4.2% of GDP, Bloomberg reports.
“The much lower prices of commodities in international markets (e.g., iron ore and soybeans) explain the bulk of this movement, which implies that exports of basic products should remain weaker than in 2014 for the remainder of the year,” Credit Suisse’s Leonardo Fonseca said in a CustomsToday article. “The month’s figure was also affected by a strong decline in the volume of soybean exports, as 2014 saw an earlier-than-average harvest season. At the same time, manufactured goods also contributed to the decline in exports in the month, probably reflecting the lower absorption of Brazilian products by other Latin American countries.”