Brazil are one place off their highest-ever ranking of 24th after recording a 26-24 win against Portugal in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
Each side scored four tries apiece but the ever-dependable Josh Reeves crucially kicked one more conversion than his opposite number Jerónimo Portela to hand Os Tupis a winning start to their November campaign.
Brazil's scrum dominance and Portugal's ill-discipline – they had three players sin-binned – were contributory factors in a match that ebbed one way and then the other.
Benefitting from the solid platform behind him, Brazil number eight André Arruda dotted down twice and there were also tries for the two Daniels, Lima and Sancery.
Portugal's tries, crucially only two of which were converted, were all scored by backs – long-serving centre Tomás Appleton, full-back Simão Bento, impressive young winger Raffaele Storti and replacement Dany Antunes.
With just over one rating point awarded to them for the victory, Brazil move up to 25th in the rankings with Portugal dropping down to 23rd.
The Netherlands equalled their biggest-ever margin of victory in tests as they opened their Rugby Europe Trophy campaign with a 64-8 victory against Ukraine in Amsterdam but were overtaken by Os Tupis in the rankings.
Ukraine actually led 8-3 after 15 minutes but the Dutch produced an emphatic response to run in nine tries – four of them by full-back Josh Gascoigne. Centre David Weersmar kicked all but one of his conversion attempts on top of an earlier penalty for a 19-point haul.
Elsewhere in Europe, Slovenia fall one place to 72nd as a result of their 42-14 home defeat to Malta, who remain 38th, in Conference 1 South.
In the division below, Andorra beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 45-10, a win that came with a gain of 0.81 of a point and an improved ranking of 74th. Bosnia and Herzegovina end the weekend one place worse off in 83rd with Tahiti the side to benefit.