Argentina: Surging exports and plunging imports bump up trade surplus
Exports surged 16.5% in year-on-year terms in May, following April’s revised 1.9% increase (previously reported: +1.7% year-on-year). May’s jump was the result of soaring exported quantities, while prices continued to decline. It came on the back of skyrocketing exports of primary products, of a sharp expansion in foreign sales of fuels and energy products, and of higher exports of manufactured products of agricultural origin. On the other hand, exports of manufactured products of industrial origin continued to fall, albeit marginally. In terms of export markets, overseas sales to China, Vietnam and the U.S. rose considerably and were only partially counterbalanced by reduced exports to Brazil, Germany and Paraguay.
Imports nosedived 28.0% annually in May, a slightly softer fall than April’s 31.6% plunge. Abysmal falls in the imports of passenger motor vehicles, fuels and lubricants, and capital and consumption goods, led May’s contraction.
Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus widened from a USD 1.1 billion surplus in April to a USD 1.4 billion surplus in May, the ninth consecutive surplus after 20 months in the red (May 2018: USD 1.3 billion deficit). The 12-month rolling trade balance doubled from a USD 2.6 billion surplus in April to a USD 5.2 billion surplus in May (May 2018: USD 11.0 billion shortfall), marking the best result since September 2013.