ARGENTINA – Trade surplus declined in June, on strong imports

We forecast a trade surplus of USD 14 billion for 2021, up from USD 12.5 billion in 2020

Juan Carlos Barboza & Diego Ciongo


The trade balance showed a surplus of USD 1.1 billion in June, below the surplus posted a year earlier (USD 1.5 billion) but in line with market expectations according to Bloomberg. The 12-month trade surplus fell to USD 11.0 billion, from USD 11.6 billion in March. At the margin, the seasonally-adjusted annualized surplus for 2Q21 rose to USD 13.9 billion, from USD 13.3 billion in 1Q21.

Solid export growth driven by higher commodity prices and strong industrial exports in 2Q21. Total exports increased by 40.2% yoy in 2Q21, from 15.5% in the previous quarter. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, exports grew 20.3% qoq/saar (from 226% qoq/saar in 1Q21). Agriculture exports, including manufactured agricultural products, were up by 27.7% yoy in the quarter (from a 22.9% yoy gain in 1Q21), led by shipments of soy derivates. Exports of industrial products – driven by car sales – increased by 105.5% yoy in 2Q21 (from 4.9% in the previous quarter), favored by a positive base effect associated with the strict lockdowns last year.

Imports continued to rise. Total imports rose by 68.0% yoy in 2Q21 (up from 30.3% yoy in 1Q21) and 20.8% qoq/saar (down from 60.3% in 1Q21). Purchases of capital goods and parts increased by 77.3% yoy in the period, followed by intermediate goods (37.5% yoy), while imports of consumer goods (including cars) expanded by 27.4% yoy.

The 12-month energy trade balance deteriorated again, entering into a deficit. The rolling 12-month balance as of June came in at a deficit of USD 104 million, from a surplus of USD 640 million in March, following an increase in oil and gas imports.

We forecast a trade surplus of USD 14 billion for 2021, up from USD 12.5 billion in 2020. 

Juan Carlos Barboza
Diego Ciongo