As a result of a 71.1% drop in Colombian exports to Venezuela in October, China surpassed Colombia’s neighbor as its second largest export market. The United States remain the biggest.
According to Colombian government statistics, China imported US$100.6 million of Colombian products in the first two weeks of November, while Venezuela’s Colombian imports fell to US$76 million in October, compared to the same month last year.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez ordered the freezing of trade with Colombia amid tensions over a U.S.-Colombian plan to allow the U.S. to use Colombian military bases; a plan Chavez considers a threat to Venezuelan sovereignty.
The informal trade block may lead to Venezuela falling further in Colombia’s export market ranking. Ecuador and the Netherlands are currently Colombia’s fourth and fifth largest export markets.
The drop in exports to Venezuela has a great impact on Colombian exporters as China’s imports are mostly raw materials like leather, scrap metals and ferronickel, while Venezuelan imports consist of medical supplies, white goods, candy, and baby diapers.