BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s trade deficit in 2015 came in at $3.04 billion, a result primarily attributable to a 17 percent drop in the value of exports, officials said.
The report by the National Statistics and Census Institute, or Indec, published Thursday, shows that exports fell from $68.3 billion in 2014 to $56.8 billion last year, while imports decreased by 8 percent.
That result contrasts sharply with the 2015 data provided by Indec’s previous administration, which had reported a $1.8 billion trade surplus through October before being replaced in December when newly inaugurated President Mauricio Macri took office.
The new data shows that Argentina accumulated a $1.2 billion trade deficit in the year’s first 10 months, a disparity that Indec’s new technical director, Fernando Carro, said may be due to the fact the previous methodology used figures based on “estimates,” while the new system is based on “provisional” data.
The trade gap widened sharply over the last two months of 2015, with deficits of $740 million in November and $1.1 billion in December, a month in which exports plunged 24 percent and imports edged up by 1 percent.
Argentina’s main trade partners continued to be its fellow members of Mercosur, a sub-regional bloc that also comprises Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela.
In 2015, Argentina exported $13.8 billion to the other Mercosur countries, down 17 percent from 2014.
But exports to Argentina’s Asian trade partners, especially China, Japan and India, inched up by 1 percent.
Carro said the value of both exports and imports were affected in 2015 by declining global prices, which fell on average by 16 percent.