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Argentine trade balance collapsed 60% in August because of the energy import bill

Tuesday, September 24th 2013 - 08:04 UTC
Full article 23 comments
Insufficient domestic production of hydrocarbons despite huge reserves and frozen prices have led to the current situation Insufficient domestic production of hydrocarbons despite huge reserves and frozen prices have led to the current situation

Argentina’s trade balance collapsed 60% during August compared to a year ago because of stagnant exports and the doubling of energy imports according to the latest release from the government’s stats office, Indec.

The August surplus was 568 million dollars and 6.3bn dollars in the eight months of the year, which is 32% below the same period in 2012. August exports reached 7.7bn dollars, just 34 million dollars above July 2012, while imports soared 14% to 7.2bn dollars because of the growing cost of energy.

Indec points out that export were flat because of a 4% drop in prices, insufficient to compensate 5% increase in volume.

The declining tendency of Argentine exports started in June when the inter-annual increase dropped 8% from the 14% increase reported in May. In July the slide continued with a mere 2% increase while in August exports were flat compared to a year ago.

Commodity sales increased 5%; agriculture related manufactured goods 6% while industry manufactured goods remained unchanged. Fuel and energy sales of 349 million dollars, dropped 38%, with overall sales in the first eight months of the year 21% below the same period of a year earlier.

Imports increased 12% in price and 1% in volume with special incidence of energy. Purchases in August totaled 1.55 billion dollars which is 103% higher than in August 2012. In eight months Argentina imported 9bn dollars in energy and exports reached 3.6bn, with a deficit of 5.4bn dollars.

Capital goods imports remained unchanged, intermediate goods were up 8% and consumer goods 11%.

In related news Indec also reported that the Argentine economy expanded at the fastest pace in about two years in the second quarter: 8.3% from a year earlier.

President Cristina Fernandez is fueling growth by boosting spending and subsidies to bolster consumption ahead of congressional elections next month.

However doubts remain. The International Monetary Fund in February censured Argentina for failing to report accurate data on inflation and GDP. Opposition lawmakers publish a monthly inflation report that shows consumer prices rising at more than double the 10.5% rate reported by the government.

Likewise lawmakers opposed to the government released a report based on 12 forecasts by private economists that estimated growth at 5.4% in the second quarter. The economy grew 2% from the first quarter, they said.

Data also indicates that Central bank reserves have fallen to 35.1 billion dollars from about 45 billion a year ago. Argentina posted a current account surplus of 650 million dollars in the second quarter, compared with a revised surplus of 1.2bn a year earlier.

Meanwhile the Peso, whose rate is managed by the central bank, has weakened 15% this year and the gap with the parallel dollar is almost 70%.

Categories: Economy, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • LEPRecon

    Ooops. 60% and that's according to INDEC! I wonder what the true figure is?

    Not long now before the whole thing comes tumbling down, and CFK is seen legging it to a waiting helicopter, which will whisk her away to her stashed away millions overseas.

    If the SCOTUS refuses to hear Argentina's appeal, then it'll be all over sooner, rather than later.

    And of course, it is the ordinary Argentine citizen that will suffer, as it is their futures - their pensions that the government has stolen.

    But in a democracy you get what you vote for. In future the Argentine public should remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and sooner or later someone has to pay. This time it will be them, and their children, and probably their grandchildren.

    Sep 24th, 2013 - 08:14 am 0
  • Captain Poppy

    I agree with everything you said. However, let's also remember in a democracy one also get's who they did NOT vote I got Bush and oh joy for me !

    Sep 24th, 2013 - 09:30 am 0
  • ElaineB

    I would like to elaborate a little more on that comment. I doubt very much that most Argentines voted for what they have now. They voted for the hope the K's offered after a catastrophic crash of the economy. When you have lost everything you cling to the promises of hope, and since there was only one way to go from rock bottom, it must have seemed like the K's were delivering. As many an Argentine has said to me, so what if the government is dipping into the collective pot - they all do it - as long as they 'feel' like everything is getting better and they are benefitting. When you are down and out you only think in the immediacy and not long term.

    Even the most supportive of the K's amongst my network of Argentines is now disillusioned with what has happened. So, in a very long-winded way, I am qualifying the fact that they have to take responsibility for voting in the government but it is not now the government they voted for.

    Sep 24th, 2013 - 10:44 am 0
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