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Colombia Trade January 2019

Colombia: Contraction in exports eases at the outset of the year

According to the National Department of Administrative Statistics (DANE), exports contracted again in January, although the rate of decline eased from the previous month. Exports fell 7.8% over the same month of the previous year, following a 14.6% year-on-year contraction in December. The latest print reflected a double-digit fall in the overseas sales of fuels and products of extractive industries, along with a drop in exports of farming, food and beverages. Contractions in these sub-components more than offset a marked upturn in the sale of manufacturing output to foreign markets.

In December—the latest month for which data is available—imports accelerated. Import growth climbed to 15.1% year-on-year from 12.3% in November. December’s reading reflected double-digit expansions in all sub-components: Imports of fuels rose by the biggest magnitude, followed by imports of manufacturing goods. Meanwhile, imports of agricultural products saw the smallest upturn.

In annual terms, the trade balance swung to a USD 587 million deficit in December from a 517 surplus in the same month of last year. However, December’s deficit was smaller than the USD 926 million deficit recorded in November.

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