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Exports rebound in Colombia

April 7, 2021

The full trade balance result will be released on April 19

Talk of the Day

Colombia

COVID-19 update: The latest official information from the Ministry of Health is that Colombia registered a daily increase of 199 deaths (162 on the previous day) and 10,190 confirmed cases (from 9,022). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 173, from 163 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 64,293, with 2,456,409 confirmed cases, which implies a 2.6% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 1.21 (from 1.25). According to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health, Colombia has vaccinated about 3.9% of its population (around 1.99 million individuals).

Exports were flat year over year in February, improving significantly from the 23.7% decline in January (21.4% drop in 2020). The recovery was led by non-commodity related exports, indicative of improving global activity dynamics. Exports excluding traditional goods (oil, coal, coffee, and ferronickel), accounting for just over half of shipments abroad, increased 11.9% yoy, accelerating from the 4.9% gain previously. Meanwhile, oil exports continued to drop 20.5% yoy (a similar decline as in January), as shrinking volumes more than offset price gains. Coal exports moderated its decline to 3.4% (from double-digit drops over the last seven months). At the margin, exports grew 52.3% qoq/saar, accelerating from the 18.5% rise in 4Q20 as recovering global prices and demand support an improvement of commodity related exports. Overall, we expect a broadly stable current account deficit this year at a wide 3.4% of GDP (3.3% of GDP last year) as a benign global outlook and higher terms of trade help offset the effect of improving domestic demand. The full trade balance result will be released on April 19.

Chile

COVID-19 update: The latest official information from the Ministry of Health is that Chile registered a daily increase of 57 deaths (33 on the previous day) and 5,168 confirmed cases (from 5,827). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 90, from 87 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 23,734, with 1,037,780 confirmed cases, which implies a 2.3% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 0.90 (from 1.04). According to the latest figures provided by the Department of Statistics and Health Information, Chile has vaccinated about 36.73% of its population (around 7.02 million individuals).

Car sales recovered in March. The National Automobile Association of Chile (ANAC) reported new car sales totaled 32.5 thousand, a 70.6% increase over twelve months (-2.1% in February; -30.6 in 2020). The increase is in part due to the arrival of a new stock, after earlier supply disruptions. According to our own seasonal adjustment, car sales posted a second consecutive sequential increase (+2.6% from February). While the outlook for activity in Chile has improved (favored by better terms of trade, global recovery, and a swift vaccination program), the latest confinement measures announced to counter rising COVID-19 cases would see short-term activity dynamics weaken.

Day Ahead: The central bank will publish the trade balance for March at 9:30 AM (BRT). Advancing consumer goods and fuel goods imports, despite still upbeat copper sales, led to the trade surplus moderating in February to USD 1.5 billion, with the rolling-12-month trade surplus at USD 20.1 billion (USD 18.4 billion last year). For March we expect trade surplus of USD 1.0 billion (smaller than the USD 1.3 billion surplus one year earlier). Moreover, wage data for February will be released at 10:00 AM (BRT). During January, nominal wages posted the largest monthly increase (1.1%) since March last year as the economic recovery advanced, leading to a 4.2% increase over twelve months (4.0% in December). With the vaccination program advancing swiftly and business sentiment surging, nominal wage growth likely persisted through February.

Brazil

COVID-19 update: The latest official information from the Ministry of Health is that Brazil registered a daily increase of 4,195 deaths (1,319 on the previous day) and 86,979 confirmed cases (from 28,645). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 2,757, from 2,698 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 336,947, with 13,100,580 confirmed cases, which implies a 2.6% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 0.87 (from 0.85). According to state health departments figures, Brazil has vaccinated about 9.76% of its population (around 20.75 million individuals).

According to FGV, IGP-DI inflation increased 2.17% in March, below our forecast (2.52%) and the median of market expectations (2.57%). Over 12 months, the IGP-DI accelerated to 30.63%, from 29.95% in February. The IPA (wholesale price index) increased 2.59% in the month (42.12% yoy), while the IPC (consumer price index) rose 1.0% (6.10% yoy) – both components were pressured by auto fuels (gasoline, diesel and ethanol prices) in the period.

Itaú Daily Activity Tracker: The index increased by 6.3 points, to 95.3 (latest available data from Thursday, April 1). The 7-day moving average advanced 0.6 points, to 83.9. The indicator is up 45.9 points from the bottom seen on April 10, 2020, and is now 4.7% below the mid-March 2020 level, when the series started. See our report here.

Day Ahead: March's Anfavea vehicle production figures will be released during the day. Auto production will likely decline in the month, as stoppages in vehicle assembly lines, either as a safety measure against the deterioration of the outbreak or due to lack of inputs, were reported for some vehicle manufacturers in March.

Mexico

COVID-19 update: According to the Johns Hopkins University, Mexico registered a daily increase of 252 deaths (136 on the previous day) and 1,247 confirmed cases (from 1,263). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 368, from 361 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 204,399, with 2,251,705 confirmed cases, which implies a 9.1% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 0.36 (from 0.48). According to the latest figures provided by the Secretary of Health, Mexico has vaccinated about 6.29% of its population (around 8.11 million individuals).

Day Ahead: The Statistics Institute (INEGI) will announce January’s gross fixed investment at 9:00 AM (BRT), which we expect to fall by 12.5% (from -11.5% in December). While coincident indicator, capital imports deteriorated, construction output recovered further in January.

Argentina

COVID-19 update: The latest official information from the Ministry of Health is that Argentina registered a daily increase of 163 deaths (272 on the previous day) and 20,870 confirmed cases (from 13,667). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 128, from 123 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 56,634, with 2,428,016 confirmed cases, which implies a 2.3% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 1.39 (from 1.11). According to the latest figures provided by the government, Argentina has vaccinated about 7.96% of its population (around 3.58 million individuals).

Peru

COVID-19 update: The latest official information from the Ministry of Health is that Peru registered a daily increase of 261 deaths (252 on the previous day) and 7,842 confirmed cases (from 8,406). The 7-day moving average of deaths increased to 215, from 201 on the previous day. The total number of deaths now stands at 53,138, with 1,590,209 confirmed cases, which implies a 3.3% mortality rate. The estimated reproduction rate (R) is currently at 0.89 (from 0.83). According to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health, Peru has vaccinated about 1.75% of its population (577,576 individuals).



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