Combined exports for Chile’s farming and forestry industries rose to over US$12 billion in 2010, epresenting a 13 percent increase from 2009. Imports of the timber and agricultural products rose by 31 percent in the last fiscal year, but remained under US$4 billion leaving a surplus of about US$8 billion, a 6 percent increase from the year before.
Each subdivision within this larger category of exports logged considerable growth in the past year as well, with the largest growth in the forestry industry. Since 2009, forestry exports have increased 19 percent, reaching US$4.3 billion. Agricultural exports—one of the pillars of the Chilean economy—grew by 11 percent, reaching nearly US$6.8 billion, while exports related to livestock surpassed US$1 billion, a 6 percent increase from the year before.
Fresh fruits, wine and alcohol, seeds, timber and meats were among the primary exports in 2010. The United States remained the largest destination for Chilean forestry and agricultural exports, at 22.3 percent after a 6.2 percent increase from 2009. Exports to Taiwan, Colombia, Brazil and Italy grew enormously in the pass year, increasing by 35, 37, 40 and 49 percent respectively, while China, Japan, the Netherlands and Mexico continued to follow the U.S. as the largest importers of Chilean agricultural goods.
The information for the report was gathered by the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa), a subdivision under the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture. Director of the Office, Gustavo Rojas, notes that increases have occurred in spite of the gradual decline in value of the US dollar. Growth in exports, Rojas says, is “probably due to increased demand resulting from the easing of the international [financial] crisis.”