Colombia’s exports to the United States fell almost 28% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, the country’s statistics agency announced Tuesday.
The DANE figures showed a total decline of 27.8% in exports by Colombia to the United States, a continuing trend despite a free trade agreement (FTA) signed by both countries in 2012.
According to DANE, the decline in exports to United States is due to lower revenue generated by sales of fossil fuels and related products (-31.1%) and pearls, precious stones and metals (-52.4%), which together detracted the result by 28.9 percentage points.
Exports to the US have dropped consistently over the past year.
Exports to US over the past 2 years
Colombian exports to the US in the first quarter of 2014 totalled 26.7%, followed by China and India (both 9,7%), Panama (8,9%), Spain (5,8%) and Venezuela (4,0%), the report by the DANE read.
Colombia experienced a total reduction in export of 4.6% compared to 2013’s first quarter.
According to both the DANE and the US Census Bureau, exports to the US have been down since 2012, subsequent to the coming into force of the trade pact.
Colombia’s exports to the US since 1995
Overall exports decrease
Additionally, the quarterly statistics showed an overall decrease in Colombian exports of 4.5% in March, resulting in under $4.5 billion in total exports by the country during the month compared to the same period in 2013.
The March figures, which show a drop from $4.6178 billion in March 2013 to $ 4.4079 billion in the same month this year, are caused by the decline in sales of fuel and mining products, and a decline of 2.7 % in the manufacturing sector, said the DANE.
Oil sales, petroleum products and petroleum-related products decreased 4.2% in March with a decline of 35.0 % in other sectors — such as the sales of non-monetary gold (-35.2%), and the drop of 49.1% in the sales of iron, stated the statistics agency.
However, the export of crude oil increased 3.4% in March 2014, where 24.0 millions of barrels were exported compared to 23.2 million barrels in 2013.
The export of agricultural products also rose 5.8% mainly due to a rise in the sale of unroasted coffee, sugar and bananas. At the same time the sale of live cattle decreased as much as 94.1%, according to DANE.