Brazil’s trade surplus in September slipped from previous month, as exports fell on the back of a strong local currency while robust domestic activity continued to fuel demand for imports.

Brazil posted a trade surplus of $1.093 billion in September, compared with a surplus of $2.44 billion in August, the trade ministry said.

The country was expected to report a trade surplus of $1.44 billion last month, according to the median forecast of 15 economists surveyed by Reuters. Estimates ranged from $1 billion to $1.9 billion.

Brazilian exporters have been pressured by gains of more than 7 percent in the local currency, the real, since late June, which is making it expensive for them to sell their goods abroad.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega recently said that the world was in an international currency war, as countries sought to weaken their exchange rates in order to boost exports amid a sluggish global economy.

Exports slid to $18.833 billion in September against $19.236 billion in August and $13.863 billion in the year-ago period.

Imports climbed to $17.740 billion last month from $16.796 billion in August. Imports in the year-ago period totaled $12.554 billion. (Reuters)