Uruguay experienced a trade deficit of 264 million US dollars in 2005 in spite of a significant surge in exports, according to the latest release from the Central Bank
Exports reached 3.4 billion US dollars, up 16% over 2004 and imports totalled 3.7 billion, with a 24.6% increase over the previous fiscal year.
In 2004, Uruguay's overseas sales reached 2.93 billion US dollars and imports 2.944 billion with a trade deficit of 14 million US dollars.
Uruguay's main single export in 2005 was beef with 902 million US dollars, (up 22.5% over 2004) followed by dairy produce 246 million (up 41%); forestry 118 million (34%) and fisheries 90 million.
Last December exports were 316 million and imports 327 million with a trade gap of 10 million US dollars.
This week Uruguay's Economy minister Danilo Astori in a press conference revealed that the country had successfully ended with the third International Monetary Fund review, which was praised by the IMF delegate.
"All the targets of the IMF program have been achieved. We've done a review of the Uruguayan economy performance these last two weeks and I can advance that the conclusions are very positive", said Marco Piñon head of the IMF delegation.
Piñon added that the Uruguayan economy in 2005 had grown above expectations and prospects for 2006 are also of a "healthy growth, higher than 4%; inflation was below estimates and this year is projected to be in line with the Central Bank target".
Minister Astori said that last year the Uruguayan economy created 20.000 new jobs.