Argentina: January sees fifth consecutive trade surplus
February 21, 2019
Exports dropped 4.7% in year-on-year terms in January, contrasting Decemebr’s 15.4% jump. January’s decline reflected a sharp fall in exports of manufactured products of industrial origin and of fuels and energy products, which more than offset notable expansions in overseas sales of manufactured products of agricultural origin and of primary products. In terms of export markets, considerable contractions in exports towards Brazil and the U.S. were only partially counterbalanced by a surge in exports towards China.
Imports plummeted 26.5% annually in January, a somewhat softer fall than December’s 27.1% contraction. A plunge in imports of capital and consumption goods, as well of imports of passenger motor vehicles, led January’s contraction.
Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus narrowed from a USD 1.4 billion surplus in December to a USD 0.4 billion surplus in January, the fifth consecutive surplus after 20 months in the red (January 2018: USD 0.9 billion deficit). The 12-month rolling trade deficit came in at USD 2.5 billion (January 2018: USD 9.2 billion shortfall), narrowing from December’s USD 3.8 billion deficit and marking the best result in one-and-a-half years.
Argentina Trade Balance Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 11.7% in 2019 and imports to decrease 6.4%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 7.5 billion surplus. For 2020, the panel expects exports to increase 6.2% and imports to grow 7.7%, with a trade surplus of USD 7.1 billion.