An overwhelming volume of Uruguayan exports of goods in 2010, --84%-- were commodities and natural resources with some degree of manufacturing but low technological input according to the latest report from the Chamber of Industries.
Furthermore manufactured goods with high tech only represented 2% of total exports, and last year dropped 15% because of lesser overseas sales of pharmaceutical products.
According to the Industries chamber exports’ report based on technological input, 56% of sales were commodities; 17% manufactured goods from natural resources and 11% low technology manufactured goods. Another 8% is catalogued as with ‘medium’ technological input and only 2% a high tech input.
Regarding commodities, the physical volume of exports increased contrary to what happened with agriculture-origin manufactured goods which kept their strong position because of higher favourable international prices.
In 2010, 50% of Uruguay’s total exports (6.8 billion US dollars) were concentrated in four main items: meats and sub-products; grains, seeds, oilseeds, dairy products and honey.
This group of items experienced a 24% increase over 2009, representing 11 points of total exports growth in 2010. Seeds and oil seeds was particularly significant, up 54% totalling 710 million US dollars.
Of the 28 Uruguayan companies that had overseas sales over 60 million US dollars, 23 belonged to this group of agriculture commodity exports. Four of them Conaprole (dairy); Barraca Erro (grains and oilseeds); Forestal Oriental (wood and chips) and Saman (rice) concentrated 13% of total exports from the sector.
On the imports side, automobiles, parts and spares expanded 62% in 2010 totalling 957 million USD, reports the Chamber of Industries. The hydrocarbons bill was 1.4 billion USD (up 27% over 2009) and machinery and equipments such as boilers, lathes, nuclear spares, light industry jumped 22% reaching 962 million USD.