Argentine exports in November experienced their first decrease in six years falling 6% to 5.1 billion US dollars as a direct consequence of lower commodities prices and smaller volumes of soy shipped to China. This represented a significant 7.3% drop in the month's trade surplus, 952 million USD compared to a year ago.
Imports on the other hand also contracted 5% to 4.147 billion USD, the first time since January 2003. In the first eleven months of the year Argentina's trade surplus stands at 12.3 billion US dollars, this is higher than the 11.07 billion of 2007 and 9.3 billion USD of 2006. According to the official release commodities, fuel and energy exports suffered a 30% and 29% decrease in value from November to November. Industrial manufacturing on the other hand jumped 23% in November, with both improvements in prices (11%) and volumes (10%) shipped. Agriculture produce volumes contracted 9%. On the imports side, capital goods fell 8%; intermediate goods, 4%; consumption goods, 6% and fuels and lubricants, 26%. In related news the Monthly Manufacturing Estimate showed that manufacturing in Argentina during November was similar to that of a year ago, while it contracted 0.9 percentage points compared to October 2008. This means that industrial production in the first eleven months of 2008 has expanded 5.3%, but actually contracted 0.1% compared to October.