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Chile among leading exporters of 23 non-copper related products

Monday, December 2nd 2013 - 13:32 UTC
Full article 11 comments
The country is also the world's main exporter of fresh grapes with 20.6% of the market  The country is also the world's main exporter of fresh grapes with 20.6% of the market

Chile leads the world in copper production but the country must do more to diversify its export-driven economy, according to experts. Precisely to diversify several government and industry bodies have spent years promoting Chile’s major non-mining related export items, which consist largely of produce, wood products and aquaculture.

 “We have a gigantic shortfall when it comes to investing in other products,” Ricardo French-Davis National Prize winner of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at the Universidad de Chile, told The Santiago Times.

Chile’s has also been prolific in signing free trade agreements — the country has 22 such agreements, allowing free trade to 60 economies around the world including the European Union, the United States, China and Japan, opening its products up to 62% of the world’s population.

Now, those efforts may be starting to pay off. According to figures released by national trade commission, ProChile, the country is one of the top three largest producers in the world for a total of 23 non-copper related products. In 2003, that figure numbered 11 products.

Apart from copper, Chile was the world’s biggest exporter of nine other commodities in 2012, according to the figures.

Fresh grapes topped the list, with US$1.5 billion of exports. This figure amounts to 810,000 metric tons — or 20.6% of fresh grapes exports in the world in 2012 — more than double the amount exported by the United States, the world’s second biggest exporter.

Other fruits also figured prominently, with fresh blueberries accounting for US$409 million, fresh plums US$146 million, and dried apples reeled in US$39 million — all world leading figures. Chile is the world’s second highest exporter of fresh cherries, at US$ 407 million.

Fish was also a big ticket export item, with frozen salmon not including fillets, frozen trout not including fillets and smoked fish exports all leading the world, earning US$508 million, US$390 million and US$58 million in profits, respectively. Fish fillets accounted for US$ 582 million in exports — the second highest in the world.

The other two leading items export items were refined coniferous wood and wood fiber boards, with US$229 million and US$150 million in exports, respectively.

Of a total US$79 billion worth of exported goods in 2012, US$29 billion were non-mineral commodities — a figure which ProChile, aims to expand.

“Through ProChile, the Chilean government has been focusing its efforts on diversifying export products as well as the destinations of Chilean exports,” Carlos Honorato, Director of ProChile, told The Santiago Times. “We believe that the innovation of our businesses will make them more competitive and allow us to develop the country, moving us away from dependency on raw materials.”

The organization is betting that China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, might also be key in increasing other exports.

Last week ProChile, along with industry bodies and the Chilean Embassy to China, launched its a campaign to promote blueberries and cherries sales in the Asian giant via the business-to-consumer website Tmall — the eighth most visited website in China.

By Benjamin Druttman  - The Santiago Times

Categories: Economy, Latin America.
Tags: Chile.

Top Comments

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  • The Truth PaTroll

    Chile has had 40 years to diversify.

    How long does the model need? 200 years?

    Dec 02nd, 2013 - 07:00 pm 0
  • Anglotino

    40 years?

    Why did the clock start at 1973?

    Well Argentina has certainly simplified instead of diversifying. Energy exporter to energy importer. Beef exports down.

    But at least they have soy now….. lots and lots of soy.

    It's alright Nostrils. With your dreams of autarky, Chile will step into many of the exports markets that Argentina will abandon

    Little ol' Chile with less than half the population of Argentina and much much less land and resources manages to export roughly the same amount as Argentina.

    That's why their richer I guess.

    Dec 02nd, 2013 - 08:07 pm 0
  • Sergio Vega

    1@ It had taken 40 years to rebuilt a destroyed economy, the heritage of just 3 years of the same economic policies from the UP Gvt. leaded by the coward Allende and his extremist leftist your present Gvt. leaded by the one-eyed Kirchner first and the bipolar Mrs. Botox now is trying to destroy your economy....
    Thanks to the vision of our great leader Mr. Pinochet, who encouraged our economist to change from a passive state ruled economy up to 1970 and a state ruined economy from 1970 to 73, to a highly vigorous free market ruled economy that move us, the country from a bottom level LA economy to the top one LA economy and better than the most of the all world. An example on how thing must be done to built an economy that become dynamic, growing with stables policies that allow to invest with high expectations.......just the contrary as the Argentine economy has been changed.....
    We have a country that even the bad leftist Gvts. we had during 20 years wasn´t possible to destroy, only retarded its highest levels of development it showed before 1991. Fortunately, this last almost 4 years, with a smart GVT. we have retrieved the strength and spirit needed to go back to the growth......the only way that allows to all the citizens to get higher levels of lives, sharing the richness not the poverty (for further information about it please read what is happening to Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other socialist heavens....the model followed by the Kichnerist Gvt.).
    So sad what it's happening with our neighbours, the real people, the pedestrian one´s, robed and humiliated by those elected to lead the country to the summit and it´s heading you to the bottom....Now, if you want we can lend you our top economist brains to rebuilt your country in short time with the high amount of resources and well skilled people you have....just left to change the worst leaders you have had last decades.

    Dec 03rd, 2013 - 01:34 am 0
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