Chilean trade grows 32.6% for first nine months of 2010

A rebounding global economy has led to increased demand for Chilean products, bolstering the Andean nation’s strong economy.


Chile’s trade totalled US$ 87.7 billion in imports and exports in the first nine months of 2010, a 32.6 percent increase over the same period in 2009, a new report shows.

The third quarter report released by the Ministry of Exterior Relations attributed the surge in growth in part to the global economy rallying from the financial crisis, which sparked increased demand for Chile’s goods from its major trading partners.

Chilean exports reached US$ 49,487 billion between January and September 2010, a year-on-year increase of 29 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

The report attributes this growth in part to the high price of copper, Chile’s chief export, with prices rising as demand for the mineral intensified, especially in Asia. Copper sales amounted to US$ 27.3 billion in the period, with volume of copper exports increasing 6 percent compared with January to September 2009.

More than 90 per cent of trade came from countries or regions with which Chile has trade agreements, including China, the United States, Japan and the European Union.

With exports to China totalling US$ 11.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 47 percent, the east asian giant is easily Chile’s top trading partner. Chile also recently signed a free trade agreement with Malaysia, giving Chile a foothold within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Meanwhile total Chilean imports increased 38 per cent during the period to US$ 38.2 billion, according to the report, which highlights increased domestic demand in Chile’s booming economy, predicted by the International Monetary Fund to continue its strong recent growth into 2011.