Argentina: Merchandise exports growth jumps in March also due to a low-base effect
Merchandise exports soared 30.5% in annual terms in March, following February’s softer 9.1% increase and marking the strongest reading since December 2016. The print reflected a very low-base effect and was driven by skyrocketing foreign sales of agricultural goods as well as by strong expansions in exports of primary products and of fuels and of industrial goods more than offsetting a dip in exports energy. In terms of export markets, March’s print mainly resulted from surging overseas shipments to China, India, the Netherlands and Vietnam outweighing falling sales to Chile.
Merchandise imports skyrocketed 68.7% in annual terms in March (February: +16.4% yoy). The increase reflected a bread-based jump in purchases of capital, consumptions and intermediate goods as well as of motor vehicles and fuels.
Meanwhile, the trade balance recorded a USD 0.4 billion surplus in March, coming in below the USD 1.1 billion surplus logged in the previous month (March 2020: USD 1.2 billion surplus). Lastly, the 12-month rolling trade balance dropped to a USD 11.6 billion surplus in March from February’s USD 12.4 billion surplus (March 2020: USD 17.4 billion surplus).