What is the Brazilian Real (BRL)? Basic information about the Brazilian Real currency


The Brazilian real (BRL) is the official currency of Brazil. It is divided into 100 centavos. The symbol of the Brazilian real is R$.


  • The country is rated as an advanced emerging economy, ranking as the world’s 13th largest economy by GDP in 2020.
  • In 2020, unemployment was estimated at almost 15 percent.
  • The main industries include aircraft, textiles, iron ore, steel, cement, shoes and chemicals.
  • Export products include aircraft, coffee, soybeans, cotton, sugar cane, tobacco, bananas, oranges, steel, iron ore, machinery, transport equipment, automotive parts and machinery.
  • Import products include chemical products, electronics, machinery, oil and transport equipment.


  • In 1994, the Brazilian real replaced the cruzeiro real at the rate of 1 Brazilian real to 2,750 cruzeiro reals, the average exchange rate of the US dollar. It was done to stabilise the country’s economy.
  • From 1996 to 1998, the Central Bank of Brazil controlled the exchange rate of the Brazilian real and the US dollar.
  • In 1999, the Brazilian real became a floating currency, experiencing a significant devaluation amounting to 1 USD = 2 BRL.
ISO 4217 codeBRL
Central bankCentral Bank of Brazil
Currency subunitsCentavo = 1/100
DenominationsBanknotes: R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50, R$100, R$200
Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos, R$1
Countries using this currencyBrazil
Currencies pegged to BRLNone
BRL is pegged toNone