Argentina's trade balance during 2013 left of surplus of 9.24 billion dollars, 27% less than in the previous year (12.42bn), according to the latest release from the official stats office, indec. Exports in the past year grew by 3% to reach a value of 83bn dollars, while imports rose by 8% and totaled just over 74bn.
One of the biggest falls month by month was seen in December, when a surplus of 272m dollars translated to an overall fall of 67% compared to the same period in 2012. The overall surplus was also 1.5bn short of the announced target in the budget. The smaller trade surplus is one of the reasons of the dollar-shortage in Argentina which is pushing the greenback almost daily to new records both in the official and parallel markets. One of the items with strongest influence in the lower surplus is the energy bill with a deficit of 6.16bn dollars. Imports of fuel and energy last year climbed 23% to 11.41bn while exports dropped 24% to 5.25bn dollars. Exports of unprocessed commodities increased 1% to 19.3bn while agriculture processed goods increased 9% to 30.06bn and industrial manufacturing was up 3% totaling 28.41bn. Because of the energy bill, imports climbed 8% to 74bn. Imports of capital goods were up 8% to 12.76bn dollars; consumer goods increased 3% to 7.5bn; other goods and accessories, up 7% to 15.42bn and vehicle imports reached 7.09bn dollars, up 32%; intermediate goods were down 2% to 19.58bn dollars. Argentina's main trade partner last year was Mercosur, 28%, followed by China with 19% of exports and 23% of imports.