Foreign exports from Colombia fell 6.6% in February in comparison to the same period in 2012, due to choked sales abroad in fuel and mining sectors.
A fall in exports early in February has highlighted the challenges Colombia faces in meeting growth expectations, as the country continues to wrestle with a strengthening peso and weak demand abroad.
Colombia’s National Department of Statistics (DANE) reported that exports in the fuel and mining sectors declined 9.1%. Fuels, like oil and natural gas, coupled with mining of precious metals form the heart of Colombia’s natural resources boom.
The United States remained Colombia’s biggest export partner in February, demanding a lion’s share of 37% of total exports that month. China, Panama, Holland, Venezuela, India and Spain rounded out Colombia’s other dominant buyers.
Manufacturing was the anomaly in February. DANE reported that the manufacturing sector recorded a 2.9% boost in exports. The manufacturing and industrial sectors have been suffering from a slow down in recent months due to a higher than desired exchange rate and weakening demand from abroad, which has worried analysts.
Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas recently declared the strengthening peso to be at the heart of Colombia’s economic struggle. The central bank has stepped up rate cuts and its policy of dollar buying in the domestic market in order to tame the peso and keep Colombia’s exports attractive.
- Exportaciones Febrero 2013 (DANE)