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By Marcela Ayres and Bernardo Caram
BRASILIA, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's Economy Ministry expects the central government to post a primary surplus of 6 billion reais ($1.15 billion) this year, its first since 2013, according to internal estimates seen by Reuters, as high commodity prices boost tax revenues.
An official from the ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity as the calculations are not public, called the estimate conservative because it assumed 36 billion reais in new extraordinary dividends paid to the government in 2022.
Since that forecast was made, the Treasury has already received 25 billion reais in an industry-leading payout from state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) .
Official forecasts released in July still pointed to a 59.4 billion reais primary budget deficit this year for the central government, which consists of the Treasury, social security and the central bank. The official deficit target for the year was set at 170.5 billion reais.
However, government officials, including Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, have increasingly celebrated record tax revenue boosting public finances, without giving new fiscal forecasts.
A major exporter of grains, oil and iron ore, Brazil has benefited from higher commodity prices during the Ukraine war, which boosted both dividends from state-owned companies and tax revenues from private firms.
An economic recovery has also boosted tax revenues, with labor markets showing steady improvement, the official said.
According to the ministry's most recent forecast, the public sector, including states, municipalities and state companies, would post a 39.2 billion reais surplus this year, down from the 64.7 billion reais surplus in 2021.
($1 = 5.2186 reais) (Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Bernardo Caram; Editing by Brad Haynes)