Argentina Trade February 2017


Argentina: Base effects on agricultural products drive down exports in February

March 28, 2017

In February, exports plummeted 6.2% from the same month last year, which contrasted January’s 9.7% increase. Exports have taken a hit largely due to base effects stemming from a strong start to 2016. Prospects of a devaluation of the peso and upbeat sentiment following the October general election and November runoff in 2015 led to a surge in exports in early 2016, especially in the agricultural sector. The extraordinary increase, however, is now weighing on export growth. On a monthly basis, exports plunged 9.8% in seasonally-adjusted terms in February, contrasting the 3.3% increase in January and marking the lowest reading since December 2015.

Imports decreased 0.6% annually in February, a notable contrast to January’s 7.1% surge. The trade deficit swung from a USD 110 million surplus in February 2016 to a USD 122 million deficit in February 2017. In the 12 months up to February, the trade balance posted an accumulated surplus of USD 2.0 billion, which was a deterioration from the USD 2.2 billion surplus recorded in the 12 months up to January.

Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 6.9% in 2017 and they see imports increasing 10.0%, thus pushing the trade balance to a USD 0.5 billion surplus. For 2018, the panel expects exports to increase 6.5% and imports to expand 8.1%, with a trade deficit of USD 0.5 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Argentina Trade Chart

Argentina Trade12m February 2017

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Argentina National Statistical Institute (INDEC) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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