CARACAS -- Venezuelan sales to the United States reached $8.24 billion in the third quarter, a drop of 50.9 percent from the same period in 2008, the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Industry and Commerce said Tuesday.
At the same time, U.S. sales to Venezuela fell by 38.93 percent between July and September for a total of $2.08 billion, Venamcham, as the group is known, said in a report.
With regard to Venezuelan exports, 96.61 percent of those sales during the third quarter of 2009 were in the petroleum sector.
Venezuela is the world's fifth largest exporter of crude and the No. 4 supplier of the United States, to which it sends 1.5 million barrels per day, according to official figures.
Venamcham said that between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 Venezuela's exports to the U.S. fell by 60% for a total of $20.35 billion compared with $51.4 billion in the first nine months of 2008.
At the same time, Venezuelan purchases from the United States fell by 38.93 percent between last July and September, to $2.08 billion.
During the third quarter, 90.41 percent of Venezuelan imports from the U.S. were in the non-oil sector and 9.59 percent in the oil sector, Venamcham said.
Between last January and September, Venezuelan purchases from the United States experienced a drop of 20.65 percent for a total of $7.05 billion, according to Venamcham.
The US still remains Venezuela's number one trade partner despite the often rocky rhetoric between Caracas and Washington.