Exports from Colombia increased in August, according to a report published on Wednesday by the country’s national statistics agency.
“External sales from the country increased 8.9% in relation to the same month in 2012, from $4.57 billion to $4.97 billion,” read the DANE statement.
The 8.9% increase came in large part from a 28% jump in hydrocarbons exports and other energy and mining products, where manufacturing exports fell 17.4%.
The pick up in August follows a string of months where Colombia’s exports have contracted, due in part to a relatively strong peso against the dollar, a drag in demand from Europe, and a coal mining sector plagued by strike-driven shut downs.
Though 18% of the economy is still made up of manufacturing, in terms of GDP output, commodities like oil and coal dominate Colombia’s exports.
According to a report by JP Morgan, 82% of its exports were commodities in August. And 50% of that was made up of oil exports, mostly destined for the U.S. and Europe. In comparison, Chile, whose economy relies heavily on copper and metal exports, saw just 65% of its exports come from commodities.
On the other hand, Colombia’s manufacturing sector has come under scrutiny by business owners and policy makers. Its output has shrunk in eight out of the last nine months and recent surveys have found that business owners are down on confidence about the sector’s outlook.
Infrastructure is one of the things holding Colombia’s manufacturing back. Manufacturing leaders have told Colombia reports that the costs manufacturers are forced to pile on for transport from the country’s interior, like Bogota and Medellin, to the coast for export, prohibit their products from staying competitive in the global market.