The first five months of 2014 saw foreign purchases increase in Colombia by 4.6%, compared to the same time period in 2013, local media reported on Thursday.
The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) released a report on Wednesday showing that Colombian imports between January and May amounted to over 5.4 million, representing a significant increase from the approximately 5.18 million recorded during this time period in 2013, reported Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.
In the month of May alone, imports shot up by 4.7% versus the same month in 2013, according to DANE.
Last fall, Colombian imports had decreased by 5% compared to the same month in 2012.
Increase in agriculture, manufacturing sectors contribute to import boom; fuel decreases
The DANE report detailed that the agricultural products, food, and beverage sectors increased imports by 24.3% while manufacturing also bumped up by 3.1%, constituting 10.6% of Colombia’s overall imports.
In the food sector, a growth of 56.8% in imports of cereals and grains as well as a 65.8% increase in importing animal feed contributed significantly to the overall growth of imports.
In the manufacturing sector, which constitutes 74.4% of all imports, a 15% increase in imports of iron and steel was reported. A 24.4% surge in yarns, fabrics and textiles accounted for import growth in the sector. Imports of apparel and clothing accessories also shot up by 34%.
In contrast, imports of fuel and mining products decreased 1.3%, likely due to lower purchases of motor gasoline, light crude oil, and diesel fuel. The sector accounted for 14.7% of total imports to Colombia.
Imports from US increase; deficits recorded with China, Mexico, US
DANE reported that 30.8% of imports from January to May 2014 originated in the US, the largest import country to Colombia. Trailing the US was China as the origin for 17.3% of imports, and 8% hailing from Mexico.
US imports also increased 12.2% in the first five months of the year, from 7,036,700 in 2013 to 7,892,400 in 2014. The surge in imports is explained by a 43.9% increase in fuel, oil, and mineral products.
Colombia also recorded several deficits in the trade balances with several import countries. DANE recorded Colombia’s highest deficits with China and Mexico, at around 1.6 million and 1.54 million respectively.
Colombia’s overall deficit with the US was also steep, with a recorded 1.44 million.
DANE’s data recorded Colombia’s highest total trade surpluses with Panama and India, at 1.82 million and 1.06 million respectively.