Brazil on Monday posted a $2.35 billion trade deficit in November, the country's worst monthly result in 20 years, and cementing its slide into the red for the year after a decade of surpluses.
The deficit for the year to date stands at $4.2 billion, the worst showing since 1998, the ministry of trade said, and November's monthly deficit was 15 times worse than last year's.
The country typically posts a surplus in December, but it is unlikely to be enough to bring the ledger back into black, the ministry said.
The last year Brazil posted an end-of-year deficit was in 2000.
Total imports in November were just under $18 billion, outstripping exports of $15.6 billion, the ministry said.
Export figures took a hit from dropping prices in raw materials and the economic crisis in neighboring Argentina, a major purchaser of Brazilian products.
Brazil fell into recession earlier this year and has suffered relatively low growth for four years.
Although GDP raced ahead 7.5 percent in 2010, growth fell back to 2.7 percent the following year, hit just 1.0 percent in 2012 and then rose to 2.5 percent in 2013.
This year's growth forecast is for barely above zero.
Last year saw Brazil post a surplus of $2.6 billion, the country's worst result in 13 years.
A week ago, the government said the world's seventh-largest economy was on the point of exiting recession, with third quarter growth estimated at 0.1 percent after falls of 0.2 and 0.6 percent in the two previous quarters.
President Dilma Rousseff, who was re-elected in October, on Monday named Armando Monteiro as her new trade and industry minister.
The Sao Paulo stock market meanwhile shed 4.47 percent in Monday trading following US and European leads amid concerns over falling oil prices and weak data from China, where falling demand for raw materials has been a prime factor in dragging down Brazilian growth.
The main Ibovespa index closed at 52,276 points with mining companies and electricals leading the falls.
Oil giant Petrobras shed four percent after last week's decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain production at 30 million barrels per day despite a supply glut and plunging prices.