Chile strengthens trade ties with Americas

Traffic of goods increased to the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Peru in the second month of 2011.

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Chile registered a 23% growth in trade with the rest of the world this February 2011, a figure largely complimented by a 30% rise in the traffic of goods and services with American partners like the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

During the second month of the year, Chile’s global exports rose 16%, returning US$5.6 billion – US$784 million more than February in the previous year. On the other hand, imports grew 32%, to US$1 billion more than the same month in 2009.

Chile’s business with its neighbors in the Americas totaled US$4 billion as reported by the State Customs Service. The United States and Brazil played a defining role in this increase, totaling US$722 million more than last year, with Chile.

The countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) saw the highest growth of combined trade rates with Chile (40%) due to an increase in trade with all its members, especially the United States (45%), the main trading partner of Chile in the region, with traffic totaling US$1.6 billion.

In the Mercosur countries, which include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the decline in trade with Argentina (4%) was more than offset by increased trade with Brazil (41%). Chile’s growing relationship with Brazil alone contributed US$240 million in additional business within the Mercosur block.

Business with Colombia and Peru had among the highest growth rates in February (34% each), mainly due to a rise in the recorded imports from the countries.

Trade with Europe grew 17% in February, totaling US$1.886 billion, underpinned by growth in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and France. Traffic to Asia was also strengthened 14% with Japan, India and China as main trading partners.

Global Chilean exports rose 16% in February, a rise which can be mainly attributed to increased mining shipments, up 19%, recording US$555 million. The fisheries and aquaculture industry contributed most to the expansion of non-mining exports.

Sea products and fisheries totaled US$277 million, of which 58% were salmon shipments (US$159 million) and 33% trout. Of the two products, growth in salmon shipments was higher, totaling US$50 million.