Foreign Trade in Argentina
Updated March 28, 2019
On 1 January 1995 began operating the Mercosur, a zone of free trade between the Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Customs Union imperfect, was implemented within the Mercosur, in order to reach the Common Market. In the case of Argentina and Brazil, the two largest economies in the Mercosur, the adequacy regime introduced a calendar, in which tariffs will be gradually reduced. This stage lasts until 2000, when the rates and exemptions are eliminated to Common External Tariff, which remained in the regimen.
Thus began another stage of the Customs Union which also has some exceptions such as sugar and automobiles that have a special regime. While the Common External Tariff, provides some temporary exceptions, such as Capital Goods, Informatics and Telecommunications.
In Argentina, during the year 1995 has managed to reverse the deficit in the previous year to 5,800 million. While exports amounted to 17.503 million, imports were 16.432 million. The surplus was therefore 1,071 million.
Between 1998 and 2002 occurs: the decline of the neoliberal government of Carlos Menem; the end of convertibility for which 1 peso equaled one US dollar, and the financial corralito. During this period, exports are around 25,000 million.
In the 2003 with the implementation of new economic policies, the export volume happens to 31,511,000 dollars. In 2008 it reached 68.658 million dollars, suffering a fall in 2009, an election year, in going down to 56,555 then reach 84.295 million dollars in 2011.
The result of the 25 years of the Mercosur highlight the interdependence between the four countries where the principal asset of the Block has been its regional market.
The growth of intra-regional trade rises of 7% in the late 80’s, and 30% in the 2013 . But also it becomes more important because it is 60% of manufactured goods with high added value; as opposed to 70% of primary products and manufactures of low added value, which is exported to other destinations.
External sales, with the exception of 2009, grew until 2011-2013. Then this trend was reversed. Export levels for 2017 are 39.7% below the 2011-2013 average.
To deepen Argentina’s relationship with its continental partners suggest reading the report Argentina continental integration.
Which products are Exported by Argentina
Manufactures of Agricultural Origin
Among the main products exported by Argentina are Manufactures of Agricultural Origin (MOA). The field and the agroindustry, makes a great contribution to the foreign trade of Argentina. In 2017, 38.5% of external sales were generated by the MOA. However, if we take into account the values of 2017, exports fell. The MOAs total 22,513 million dollars, which constitute 3.6% less than in 2016. (INDEC).
It stands within MOA decreasing importance in the Residues and waste from the food, Fats and oils, and prepared meats and dairy products.
Exports of Manufactures of Industrial Origin (MOI), reached an export volume of 18,685 million dollars in 2017. This figure is 11.2% higher than the exports of 2016. In addition, the MOI represent 32% of total exports . (INDEC)
Within this group, are: Road transport materials, chemicals and related products. Next in export volume is common metals and articles thereof, machinery, electrical equipment, stones, precious metals and articles thereof, currencies.
The third place in sales in 2017, with 14,815 million dollars, corresponds to the Primary Products. This figure is 5.6% lower than in 2016. It also represents 25.4% of the total exported. (INDEC)
The main commodities are: cereals whose exports were 6% below 2012; followed in importance seeds and oleaginous fruits; Ores, slag and ash which has a drop of 33% compared to 2012, unprocessed fish and seafood and fresh fruits.
Fuels and Energy
The fourth and last group is the Fuel and Energy group. Exports for 2017 were of 2,415 million dollars, which presents an increase of 18.7% in relation to 2016. Fuels and energy represents 4.1% of total exports.
Where exports Argentina
The main destination of Argentina, for its exports during 2017, was Mercosur, with 11.920 million dollars, which represents 20.4% of the total sales of the country. 77.7% of exports to the block were destined for Brazil. (INDEC)
The second most important destination in 2017 is the European Union with 8,708 million dollars, and the third Nafta with 6,499 million dollars.
Among the remaining export destinations are: ASEAN, China, MAGREB and Egypt, Middle East, India, Rest of ALADI, Chile, Rep. Korea, Japan.
Which products are Imported in Argentina
Argentina imported in 2017, Intermediate Goods for 17,838 million dollars. This is equivalent to 15.2% more than in 2016. That is, it covers 26.7% of imports. This item is basically composed of manufactured industrial supplies not specified in other items. (INDEC)
The importation of Capital Goods in 2017 amounted to 14,908 million dollars, 23.0% more than in 2016. This item is formed in a greater percentage by capital goods excluding transportation equipment. Capital Goods represent 22.3% of total imports. (INDEC)
Parts and Accessories for Capital Goods
During 2017, Parts and accessories for capital goods were imported for 12.923 million dollars, 14.3% more than in 2016. The share of total imports is 19.3%. (INDEC)
Fuels and lubricants
Fuels and lubricants were imported in 2017 for 5,687 million dollars, 15.8% more than in 2016. It corresponds to 8.5% of imports. (INDEC).
In 2017, consumer goods were imported for 8,947 million dollars, that is, 20.9% more than in 2016. of which approximately 40% of this group is represented by non-durable consumer goods not specified in another item. It represents 13.4% of imports. (INDEC)
Passenger motor vehicles
Passenger motor vehicles imported in 2017 for 6,297 million dollars represent 40.9% more than those imported in 2016. The share in the volume of imports is 9.4%.
From which Countries, makes Imports Argentina
The main origin of Argentine imports is Mercosur, with 19,621 million dollars, representing 29.3% of imports.
Next in importance are China, the European Union, and Nafta.
Exports were made for 58,428 million dollars and imports for 66,899 million dollars. For what is considered, that in 2017, the balance of the commercial balance at current price was deficit in 8.471 million dollars.
The commercial exchange with China in 2017 registered a deficit of 7.736 million dollars. It is the largest deficit of Argentina with any block or country. (INDEC)
- INDEC: Cuadro Estadístico de Exportaciones entre 1998 y 2011 .
- INDEC: Intercambio Comercial Argentino. Datos provisorios del año 2012 y cifras estimadas del año 2013. (23-01-2014)
- Julieta Zelicovich (2014) El Mercosur y la Crisis Automotriz.
- El MERCOSUR no liberalizará la industria automotriz (2004). Puentes: Sección para América Latina de ICTSD International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.
- En medio de la crisis automotriz, Argentina y Brasil firmaron un acuerdo provisorio por un año (17-02-14). Diario El Cronista.
- Cámara Argentina de Comercio (CAC): Observatorio de Comercio Exterior. Informe 2013 (2013)
- Daniel Sticco (2014) Las exportaciones volvieron a caer en mayo más que las importaciones . Diario Infobae