New figures show that Holland and China joined the list of Colombia’s top five export destinations in 2009, while the U.S. and Venezuela are still the country’s most important markets., reports Portfolio.com.
Colombia’s exports to Holland grew 78.7% in 2009, pushing the country up to third place on the list, while the South American country’s exports to China grew 114.4%, raising the Asian superpower eight places to be Colombia’s fifth most important export market
Ecuador dropped from third to fourth place, while Peru and Chile, traditionally important markets for their fellow Andean country, were pushed out of the top five all together. Peru imported 7.8% less from Colombia than in 2008, while Chile’s imports dropped 26.1% in the same period.
The rising importance to Colombia of distant rather than regional markets is due to the increased demand for commodities like oil and coal, and with the efforts made by the country to seek new markets, due to strained relations with Venezuela.
Colombia’s Central Bank predicted in January that exports to Venezuela will fall to US$1.5 billion in 2010, from more than US$4 billion in 2009.
China’s rise in importance as a trading partner was driven by its import of oil and petroleum products, which grew over 600% to $427.3 million, and by its import of ferronickel, which grew over 55% to $337 million.
These figures for 2009 may already be somewhat outdated, as statistics released by the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (DIAN) last week show that Chile has replaced Venezuela as the second most important destination for Colombian exports.
The DIAN study shows that in January 2010 the U.S., the Netherlands and Chile received 54% of Colombia’s total exports.