Colombia’s trade with the world has been growing at record levels but continues to show a deficit, according to government statistics agency DANE.
In July, monthly imports to Colombia reached the highest level in over 6 years.
Totaling a post-2008 high of $6.084 billion, imports jumped 19% over July 2013 – the biggest month-to-month increase so far this year and the largest July-July increase since 2008.
Imports flowed to three primary sectors: 77% to manufacturing, 13% to fuel and 9% to agriculture.
In the manufacturing sector, the major import products were airplanes greater than 15 metric tons, whose purchases rose 403% compared to the same time last year. Cars and laptop computers were also important.
Gas and motor oils took the majority of the fuel sector imports, where soybeans and milk drove growth in agriculture.
The countries that took most advantage of increased Colombian demand for their products were France, Germany and China, as these countries exported respectively 282%, 53% and 26% more than they did last July, respectively.
Although the Unites States was again by far Colombia’s most important importer, Chinese penetration has been growing at an average rate this year of 4%, while the US is at 1%.
With a weakening peso and further depreciation likely, it will be more expensive to buy goods on the international market in the near future.
Relying mainly on extractive industry products such as petroleum, natural gas and carbon, exports jumped 8.5% over last July to reach a total of $5.049 billion.
This was also the biggest month-to-month increase so far this year and the largest July-July increase since 2008.
Though the extractive industry grew at 6.4% and took the majority (66%) of total exports, manufacturing and agriculture both grew at 8.5%, their best performances of the year.
In manufacturing, the biggest growth drivers were glass transport containers, transport vehicles, Polyvinyl chloride.
In agriculture, growth came from palm oils, coffee and flowers.
Exports to Panama, Uruguay and Canada grew the most at 170%, 92% and 58%, respectively. Exports to the US, Colombia’s largest export market, fell 23%.
Colombia’s trade balance for July registered at -779.4 million, the biggest deficit since April.
- July trade statistics (DANE)