Colombia registered a $470.5
million trade surplus in 2008, compared with a deficit of
$824.3 million a year earlier partly due to bigger energy
exports, the DANE national statistics agency said on Thursday.
Colombia, which ships coffee, oil, nickel and coal, saw its
foreign export sales rise 25.5 percent last year to $37.6
billion, a DANE statement said.
The country’s surpluses with leading trading partners —
the United States, Venezuela and Ecuador — all widened over
the year. Exports to the United States jumped 35.5 percent in
2008, lifted mostly by bigger fuel and oil sales.
The statistics agency did not release data on imports.
However, exports fell 6.7 percent in December from the same
month a year earlier as the global economic slowdown lowered
The Andean country’s central bank warned last month that
sluggish demand for manufactured goods and weaker prices for
raw materials were expected to cut export earnings by up to 30
percent this year.
A worsening trade outlook would likely increase the current
account balance of payments deficit to between 3.7 percent and
4.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the bank said.
That would represent a widening compared with an estimated
deficit for 2008 of 2.6 percent to 3.0 percent of GDP.
In 2007, Colombia posted economic growth of 7.7 percent —
its quickest rate of expansion in three decades. This year, the
economy is expected to grow between 1 percent and 3 percent. (Reuters)