The steepest decline so far this year is accompanied by 19% drop in imports
Argentine exports plunged 20 percent in November compared to the same month last year and totalled US$5.27 billion, the steepest decrease so far this year, according to official data released yesterday by the INDEC statistics bureau.
The negative figures were also seen in imports, which dropped 19 percent last month and totalled US$4.81 billion.
The country’s trade surplus narrowed 34 percent in November from the same month a year earlier to US$461 million, the third straight monthly contraction.
The trade surplus is down 16 percent on the first 11 months of the year, totalling US$67.36 billion.
So far this year, exports have declined 12 percent while imports have seen an 11-percent reduction.
Across-the-board decreases were seen on nearly all export categories, with primary products being the only exception with a 31 percent growth. Vegetable exports, for example, soared 264 percent while grains rose 143 percent and cotton fibres increased 233 percent.
Still, last month was the exception as exports in primary products have declined 21 percent in the first 11 months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
Grain export firms grouped under the CIARA and CEC chambers said in its last report that between December 9 and December 12 US$349 million were brought in to the country. So far this year US$23.067 billion worth of goods have been sold abroad, close to exceeding the US$23.21 billion brought in last year.
Exports of industrial goods declined 28 percent. The steep drop was particularly acute in the category of boats and airplane exports, which saw a 100-percent decrease last month and a cumulative 92-percent decline so far this year. Vehicles, meanwhile, registered a nine-percent decline compared to last year, accumulating a 19-percent drop from January to November.
The energy sector was badly hit in November, in an illustration of how plunging global oil prices has affected the country’s coffers. The value of fuel and energy exports plunged 38 percent, accumulating a 17 percent drop in the first 11 months of the year. The value of crude oil exports decreased 31 percent, followed by motor fuels (47 percent), lubricants (50 percent) and diesel (25 percent).
Looking at imports, decreases were reported also on most of the sectors. Vehicle imports plunged 65 percent in November as fewer cars were brought in from Brazil and Mexico. Importation figures have shrunk 48 percent so far this year due to lower sales on the domestic market, leading to the suspension of many workers. New car sales dropped 37.6 percent last month, heralding the worst November in six years.
Imports of intermediate goods such as iron ore decreased 12 percent and capital goods imports eight percent. A 29 percent drop was reported on imports of capital goods accessories such as printed circuits and engine parts, accumulating a 21 percent decrease so far this year. The only exception to the drop on imports was registered on fuels, which rose 15 percent but are down five percent in comparison to 2013.
Mercosur, the main partner
The Mercosur bloc was Argentina’s main market in November, reporting a US$524 million surplus for the country. Exports dropped 30 percent and imports 32 percent, with negative figures on all sectors with the exception of fuels. A surplus of US$4.196 billion was registered in the first 11 months of the year, with a 14 drop on exports and a 24 drop on imports.
Following the Mercosur bloc, the ASEAN bloc plus Corea, China, Japan and India was the second one in importance for the country with a US$329 million deficit registered. Imports dropped 19 percent due to lower figures in all sectors, except fuels, and exports decreased six percent because of lower sales of energy and agriculture manufactures. A deficit of US$1.65 billion has been accumulated so far this year due to a 10 percent drop on exports and a 19 percent on imports.
Meanwhile, a trade deficit of US$105 million was reported with the European Union (EU). Exports to the EU dropped 17 percent while imports fell 30 percent. A US$334-million trade deficit was also reported with the NAFTA bloc due to a 36 percent decrease in exports and a one-percent drop on imports.
The main destinations of the country’s exports in the first eleven months of the year were Brazil, China, the United States, Chile and Venezuela, while most of the country’s purchases came from Brazil, China, the United States, Germany and Bolivia.
Date: December 20, 2014