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Imports decelerated further, affected by controls

Juan Barboza & Diego Ciongo


The trade balance showed a surplus of USD 1.3 billion in November, up from USD 0.4 billion in the same month of 2021. The 12-month trade surplus increased to USD 6.1 billion in November, from USD 5.2 billion in October. At the margin, the seasonally adjusted annualized balance showed a surplus of USD 13.2 billion for the quarter ended in November (from a surplus of USD 8.3 billion in the previous month).

Exports expanded in the quarter ended in November. Total exports increased by 8.6% yoy, after a loss of 0.8% in 3Q22, led by strong soybean shipping due to a special and temporary FX for the sector in the period. Agricultural exports, including manufactured agricultural products, increased by 5.0% yoy in the quarter (from a drop of 4.7% yoy in 3Q22). Exports of other industrial products increased by 14.1% yoy in the quarter ended in November (from 5.7% in 3Q22), led by cars and biodiesel. On a sequential basis, exports rose by 0.9% qoq/saar in November (from a decrease of 29.7% in September).

Imports decelerated further in the quarter ended in November, affected by controls. Total imports rose by 11.3% yoy in the period (from 33.2% yoy in 3Q22) and plummeted by 49.0% qoq/saar (from a drop of 16.5% in 3Q22). Imports of capital goods and parts increased by 20.0% yoy, followed by consumer goods (including cars) at 13.4% yoy, while intermediate goods fell by 0.7% yoy.

The deficit in the energy trade balance narrowed slightly. The 12-month rolling energy deficit fell to USD 5.3 billion in November, from USD 5.4 billion in October. Energy imports rose by 37.6% yoy in the quarter ended in November, while oil exports increased by 16.3% yoy in the period.

We recently adjusted our trade surplus forecast for 2022 and 2023 to USD 6.5 billion and USD 7.0 billion, respectively, from the previous USD 8.5 and USD 12.0 billion.

Juan Carlos Barboza

Diego Ciongo