Argentina: Trade deficit widens in May
June 27, 2018
Exports fell 6.0% in year-on-year terms in May, contrasting April’s revised 6.5% year-on-year increase (previously reported: +6.2% year-on-year). The sharp slowdown was driven by a sharp contraction in exports of primary products and a notable fall in exports of manufactured products. As in the previous month, the contraction in the exports of primary products largely reflected the impact of a devastating drought in the agricultural sector throughout the first quarter.
Annual growth in imports slowed considerably from 22.7% in April to 6.3% in May. The increase was driven by a healthy expansion in imports of automotive vehicles and a significant increase in imports of intermediate goods, which more than offset a decline in imports of capital goods.
As exports contracted while imports expanded, the trade deficit widened from USD 924 million in April to USD 1.3 billion in May (May 2017: USD 576 million deficit). The 12-month moving average of the trade deficit came in at USD 11.3 billion, slightly above April’s USD 10.6 billion deficit (May 2017: USD 0.3 billion shortfall).
Argentina Trade Balance Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to grow 5.9% in 2018 and imports to increase 8.9%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 1.8 billion deficit. For 2019, the panel expects exports to increase 6.6% and imports to expand 7.7%, with a trade shortfall of USD 2.8 billion.