Major trends and opportunities open to U.S.exporters to Latin America. U.S.-Latin trade report.
By Santiago Gutiérrez
The United States’ trade with Latin America saw a healthy 2.6% increase in the first half of 2014 compared with a year earlier, a good performance, coming from a decline of 0.8% in the first semester 2013 (1H13). Trade figures improved in the semester due to a brisk 4.5% increase in exports to the region, and a 1% rise in imports from Latin America. U.S. exports to the region had risen 2.9% and imports had fallen 4% in 1H13.
The semester’s big surprises came from Chile and Venezuela. U.S.-Chile trade fell 10.3% due to a simultaneous drop in U.S. exports to Chile (-6.1%) and in U.S. imports from Chile (-16.2%). It is a relevant result since Chile represents 3.2% of all U.S. trade with Latin America.
These results differ from trade figures of Chile with the rest of the world. Central Bank data shows that total world exports to Chile fell 8.3%, a somewhat steeper decline than the one experienced by U.S. exporters. But, in a completely opposite direction, total world imports from Chile grew 0.5% during the semester.
Copper imports were behind the sharp reduction in Chilean sales to the United States. Central Bank data shows that Chile sold $1.2 billion in copper in the first half 2014, down 50% from the $2.3 billion shipped in the first half 2013. Fruit sales to the United States registered a smaller reduction: they totaled $1.1 billion in 1H14, 6.8% less than …
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