WASHINGTON – Exports from Latin America and the Caribbean will fall roughly 14 percent by value this year to $914 billion as a result of sharply lower commodity prices and anemic international demand, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
The forecast of a third consecutive annual drop in the region’s exports is included in the IDB’s “Latin American and Caribbean Trade Trend Estimates 2016,” released Monday.
Oil-exporting countries are among the hardest hit.
Venezuela, with a 49 percent decrease in the value of its exports, and Colombia, down 35 percent, are faring the worst, followed by Bolivia, 32 percent; Ecuador, 28 percent; and Trinidad and Tobago, 27 percent.
Only El Salvador, with a 2 percent increase, and Guatemala, up 6 percent, are seeing export gains thanks to a robust expansion of sugar sales to China.
By sub-regions, South America and the Caribbean face declines of 21 percent and 23 percent, respectively, compared with a drop of roughly 7 percent for Central America.
The data reflect a fall of between 20 percent and 25 percent in the prices of goods such as coffee, sugar and soy, and a 50 percent plunge in the price of crude oil and iron, the IDB said.
The report also pointed to the slowdown in the global economy, resulting in declines of 18 percent in exports to the European Union, 14 percent to China and 19 percent in intra-regional trade.