Brazil recorded a trade deficit of 224 million U.S. dollars in October, the highest monthly figure since 2000, official figures showed Friday. In the first 10 months of the year, Brazil registered a trade deficit of 1.8 billion dollars, the largest since 1998, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. The October figure would be even worse were it not for the sale of an oil platform that brought in 1.9 billion dollars as exports, Brazilian media reports said. The platform was actually bought by Brazilian subsidiaries abroad, and never left the country. The transaction was for energy companies to evade taxes, analysts were quoted as saying. Exports in October totaled 22.82 billion dollars, an increase of 0.3 percent year on year, while imports were 23.04 billion dollars, a much larger increase of 9.6 percent over the same month last year. In the first 10 months of the year, exports dropped by 1.9 percent compared with the same period last year, while imports went up by 7.5 percent. The government said it was still expecting to close 2013 with a trade surplus, given the decreasing energy imports in general toward year-end. The government blamed Brazil's weak trade balance on sluggish global trade and the fact that the costs of fuel imports at the end of 2012 were not tabulated until the beginning of this year.