Argentina Trade February 2020


Argentina: Exports contract at faster pace in February on diving purchases from China

March 27, 2020

Exports fell 2.8% in year-on-year terms in February, following January’s softer 0.8% dip. The print was the result of falling exports of manufactured products of agricultural and industrial origin and of fuels and energy, which more than offset higher foreign sales of primary products. In terms of export markets, February’s print mainly resulted from tumbling overseas shipments to China, compounded by lower sales to Brazil, India, Chile and the U.S. more than offsetting rising exports to Germany and Indonesia.

Imports slumped 20.1% annually in February, a sharper drop than January’s 16.1% fall. Diving imports of passenger motor vehicles and significant contractions in the imports of fuels and lubricants, capital and intermediate goods drove February’s downturn.

Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus widened from USD 1.0 billion in January to USD 1.1 billion in February (February 2019: USD 0.5 billion surplus). Moreover, the 12-month rolling trade balance rose from a USD 16.6 billion surplus in January to a USD 17.3 billion surplus in February (February 2019: USD 1.1 billion shortfall), marking the best result since July 2009.

Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect merchandise exports to expand 1.5% in 2020 and merchandise imports to decrease 1.9%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 17.9 billion surplus. For 2021, the panel expects merchandise exports to increase 3.2% and merchandise imports to rebound 8.6%, with a trade surplus of USD 15.8 billion.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Senior Economist

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Argentina Trade Chart

Argentina Trade12m February 20 20

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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