Brazil posted a lower-than-expected trade surplus of $668 million in March, compared with a surplus of $394 million in February, the trade ministry said.

The country was expected to report a surplus of $800 million last month, according to the median forecast of 14 economists surveyed by Reuters. Estimates ranged from $400 million to $1 billion.

Exports in March jumped to $15.73 billion from $12.2 billion in February. Imports also grew briskly, totaling $15.06 billion from $11.8 billion in February.

Still, the result fell far below the $1.76 billion trade surplus reported for March 2009. (Reuters)