Argentina Trade December 2016


Argentina: Exports expand at fastest pace in nearly six years in December due to seasonal factors

January 24, 2017

In December, exports expanded an astonishing 34.0% from the same month of the previous year, following November’s 20.8% increase (previously reported: +20.5% year-on-year). The print marked the largest expansion since February 2011. The strong readings in November and December mostly reflected a recovery from the economic and political uncertainty of 2015 that followed the October general election and November runoff that year, which had caused exporters, particularly in the agricultural sector, to postpone some shipments due to the possibility of an imminent devaluation of the peso. On a monthly basis, exports fell 1.1% in seasonally-adjusted terms in December 2016, contrasting the 15.2% increase in November.

Imports expanded for the first time in 10 months in December, rising 0.2% annually (November: -0.4% yoy). The trade balance shifted to a USD 65 million surplus in December of 2016 from the USD 1.1 billion deficit in December 2015. In the 12 months up to December, the trade balance posted an accumulated surplus of USD 2.1 billion, which was an improvement from the USD 1.0 billion surplus recorded in the 12 months up to November.

Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 6.3% in 2017 and they see imports increasing 9.5%, thus pushing the trade balance to a USD 0.9 billion deficit. For 2018, the panel expects exports to increase 6.4% and imports to expand 8.7%, with a trade deficit of USD 2.4 billion.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Argentina Trade Chart

Argentina Trade12m December 2016

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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