Argentina: Trade surplus widens in November on plunging imports and soaring exports
December 20, 2018
Exports leaped 14.5% in year-on-year terms in November, following October’s 1.4% increase. November’s rise reflected a strong increase in exports of fuels and energy and of primary products, as well as healthy expansions in foreign sales of manufactured products of agricultural origin and of exports of manufactured products of industrial origin. In terms of export markets, solid export growth towards Mercosur (especially Brazil) and Chile and a notable surge in exports towards China were only partially dampened by declining exports towards ASEAN and South Korea.
Imports plummeted 29.2% annually in November, a sharper fall than October’s 18.2% contraction. A plunge in imports of capital and consumption goods, as well of imports of passenger motor vehicles, just partially compensated by sturdier imports of intermediate goods, explain November’s contraction.
Meanwhile, the trade balance surplus widened from a USD 278 million surplus in October to a USD 979 million surplus in November, the third consecutive surplus after 20 months in the red and the best reading since June 2014 (November 2017: USD 1.5 billion deficit). The 12-month rolling trade deficit came in at USD 6.0 billion (November 2017: USD 7.5 billion shortfall), narrowing from October’s USD 8.5 billion deficit and marking the best result in over one year.
Argentina Trade Balance Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect exports to expand 12.0% in 2019 and imports to decrease 4.8%, pushing the trade balance to a USD 5.3 billion surplus. For 2020, the panel expects exports to increase 7.0% and imports to grow 7.8%, with a trade surplus of USD 5.2 billion.