Argentina Trade Balance


Export growth moderates in December

In December, exports rose 15.9% over the same month the year before, which was below the 22.6% expansion observed in November. That said, the reading marked the 10th consecutive month of double-digit export growth. The December expansion corroborates the healthy state of the external sector, with exports gradually moving towards pre-crisis levels. Based on monthly figures, exports expanded 23.0% in 2010 to USD 68.5 billion. While the reading was in stark contrast to the 20.5% drop recorded in 2009, when exports totaled USD 55.7 billion, it did not represent a full recovery to pre-crisis levels as exports remain below the USD 70.0 billion peak recorded in 2008. A month-on-month comparison does not corroborate the positive monthly result, as exports contracted 3.0% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, contrasting the 1.5% increase recorded in November. Meanwhile, imports grew a 48.5% annually in December, which was only slightly down from the extraordinary 52.7% expansion recorded in November. With imports growing at a faster rate than exports, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 390 million in November to USD 241 million in December. At the beginning of 2011, exports are likely to have been negatively affected by strikes, which brought shipping activity to a halt in the main soybean and grain export terminals in the Santa Fe Province.

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