Colombia: Exports plummet in March
May 8, 2013
In March, exports nosedived 20.0% over the same month last year, which represents a sharp deterioration over the 6.6% decline seen in February and marks, in fact, the steepest decline tallied since July 2009. The monthly contraction mainly reflects lower exports in all the main categories, particularly in shipments of fuel and mining products. As a result, in the 12 months up to March export contracted 1.7% over the same period last year (February: +1.6% year-on-year).
Meanwhile, imports decreased 0.7% in February - the latest month for which data are available - which contrasted the vigorous 19.0% expansion recorded in January. Consequently, in the 12 months up to February, imports increased 5.9% in annual terms, which represents a deceleration over the 7.4% rise witnessed in January. As a result, the trade balance reached a USD 170 million surplus in February, which prompted the 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus to narrow to USD 1.1 billion from the USD 1.4 billion surplus observed in January.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists estimate exports will expand 7.9% this year, while the trade surplus will reach USD 2.3 billion. Next year, the panel expects exports to grow 11.5%, while the trade surplus will reach USD 3.4 billion.