Argentina experienced a trade surplus of 11.322 billion US dollars in 2005, higher than expected, but 6.46% below 2004 reported the Institute of Statistics and Census.
Exports totalled a record 40.01 billion US dollars, 16% higher than in 2004, and mainly boosted by volume (15%) than prices (1%). The automobile industry with overseas sales of 2.9 billion US dollars, 41% increase, was by far the most dynamic with shipments going mostly to Brazil, Mexico and Chile.
Second was agriculture (cereals, oil, seeds) with 2.43 billion US dollars (33% increase) and then metals and manufactured goods 2.3 billion US dollars (up 35%).
Overall industrial manufacturing exports expanded 25% in 2005 over the previous year, followed by agriculture, up 10%; primary products 16% and fuel and energy 13%.
Imports increased 28%, reaching 28.692 billion US dollars, with fuel and lubricants expanding 54%, followed by capital goods 33%, mainly cellular phones, transport and cargo vehicles, sea tankers and computers. Capital goods accessories jumped 32% and consumer goods, including automobiles, 27%.
The main destination of Argentine exports were Mercosur, 19%; European Union 17%; South East Asia plus China, Japan, India and South Korea 16%; NAFTA (US, Canada, Mexico) 15% and Chile 11%.
Regarding imports Mercosur was Argentina's main supplier totalling 38% of sales followed by the European Union and Nafat, 17% each and the Far East 16%.
The 2004 trade surplus was 12.1 billion US dollars. Forecasts for 2006 vary between 9.762 billion US dollars, according to the basic figures of the national budget, and the more optimistic estimate of the Argentine Central Bank 11.5 billion US dollars.