Demand in Colombia for gasoline, lubricants and other oil products has spurred a trade deficit for country for the better part of 2014.
With high demand for combustible products pushing up imports and depressed manufacturing exports, Colombia’s trade balance is down almost 170% from the six month average surplus from the same time period last year.
For the first six months of this year, Colombia has increased its imports by 6.1% over the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased purchases of “combustible and extractive industry products,” which are up 27.9%.
According to DANE, Colombia’s statistics agency, the most important items within this product line are combustibles, mineral lubricants and related products, which are up 32.6%.
Despite being one of Latin America’s major oil producers, Colombia still imports a large proportion of refined oil products, with the US being the main source.
US producers, who hold the majority position in the Colombian import market, have been feeding the spending spree by contributing the most significant portion of the import growth at 15.4%, mainly from the sale of combustible related products.
While international purchases pick up, international revenue has fallen by 4.5%, primarily due lower manufacturing sales. Sharp declines in machinery and transport equipment, (down 32%), and non-monetary gold, (down 44%), have proved to be important product lines keeping exports down.