Colombia May exports up on high oil prices

Colombia’s exports jumped 31.9% in May to $4.7 billion compared with the same month last year, driven by oil and petroleum products, but total volume fell nearly 11%, the government said on Friday.

Traditional exports — including coal, oil, coffee and ferronickel — soared 52.9% to $3.35 billion in May, but volumes decreased by almost 12 percent in the same period, said the official statistics agency, DANE.

The value of exports of crude and oil products in the month of May rose 91.4% from a year ago to $2.456 billion, DANE said.

Coal volume exports in the world’s No. 4 exporter of the material fell 23% in May to 6.45 million tonnes from 8.39 million tonnes in May 2010, while its value rose 1.6% to nearly $670 million, DANE data showed.

High commodities prices have helped push up sales values for Colombia’s main export commodities of coal, oil and coffee, which may aid in explaining the divergence between value and volume from the world’s No. 3 coffee exporter.

DANE does not give specific reasons for fluctuations.

Non-traditional exports such as flowers and chemicals fell 1.6% to $1.35 billion while its volumes rose 12%, the agency said.

In April, exports rose 34.6% to a total of $4.7 billion, driven by oil sales.

Colombia is Latin America’s No. 4 crude producer. It expects economic growth of 5% this year, quickening from 4.3% in 2010, while it sees increased inflows of investor capital to its oil and mining sectors due to improved security.

Colombia usually runs trade surpluses with the United States and Venezuela and deficits with Mexico and China.

The DANE will release imports and the balance of trade for April on July 14.

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