Ir para menu Ir para conteúdo principal Ir para rodapé
2024/02/20 | Andrés Pérez M. & Diego Ciongo

The trade balance showed a surplus of USD 0.8 billion in January, well above the USD 0.4 billion deficit registered in the same month of 2023. The surplus was in line with market expectations according to Bloomberg, with analysts surveyed also estimating a surplus of USD 0.8 billion. This drove the 12-month rolling trade deficit down to USD 5.7 billion in January, from a deficit of USD 6.9 billion in December. At the margin, the seasonally-adjusted annualized trade balance rose to a surplus of USD 3.9 billion in January, from a deficit of USD 1.2 billion in December.


Exports increased in January, leaving the drought behind. Total exports rose by 9.6% yoy in the period, after a 13.8% drop in December. Agricultural exports, including manufactured agricultural products, expanded by 22.2% yoy in January (from a drop of 22.3% yoy in the previous month), led by an increase in wheat shipments. Exports of other industrial products fell by 15.6% yoy in the first month of the year (from a jump of 3.6% yoy in December), mostly due to a decline in exports of metals. On a sequential basis, exports rebounded by 13.3% qoq/saar in January, from a drop of 13.7% in 4Q23. 


Imports contracted in January, amid a weaker currency and soft activity. Total imports fell by 14.3% yoy in January (from a drop of 15.2% yoy in December), down 32.5% qoq/saar in the period (from a decline of 32.2% in 4Q23). Imports of intermediate goods fell by 5.1% yoy in the period and imports of capital goods and parts decreased by 12.4% yoy, while imports of consumer goods (including cars) increased by just 0.3% yoy. 


Energy trade surplus in January. The rolling 12-month balance reached USD 0.4 billion in January, from a deficit of USD 0.1 billion in 2023. Energy imports plummeted by 59.7% yoy in January, while oil exports rose by 10.3% yoy in the month. 


For 2024, we expect a trade surplus of USD 20.0 million, led by a recovery in the agriculture sector and weaker imports due to the sharp depreciation of the currency and soft activity.