Argentina: Robust trade surplus recorded in April on continued plunge in imports
May 24, 2019
Exports rebounded, albeit timidly, and grew 1.7% in year-on-year terms in April, contrasting March’s 5.0% contraction. April’s increase was the result of rising exported quantities, while prices declined notably. It came on the back of a jump in exports of primary products, and of a healthy expansion in foreign sales of fuels and energy products. On the other hand, exports of manufactured products of industrial origin, and of manufactured products of agricultural origin, continued to fall. In terms of export markets, overseas sales to China, Peru and Vietnam rose considerably and were only partially counterbalanced by reduced exports to Brazil, the U.S. and Chile.
Imports nosedived 31.6% annually in April, a slightly softer fall than March’s 33.7% plunge. Abysmal falls in the imports of passenger motor vehicles, capital and consumption goods, led April’s contraction.
Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus narrowed marginally from a USD 1.2 billion surplus in March to a USD 1.1 billion surplus in April, the eighth consecutive surplus after 20 months in the red (April 2018: USD 0.9 billion deficit). The 12-month rolling trade balance improved from a USD 0.6 billion surplus in March to a USD 2.6 billion surplus in April (April 2018: USD 10.3 billion shortfall), marking the second surplus since April 2017.
Argentina Trade Balance Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 10.6% in 2019 and imports to decrease 10.4%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 9.5 billion surplus. For 2020, the panel expects exports to increase 6.1% and imports to grow 7.7%, with a trade surplus of USD 9.1 billion.