Exports and imports registered record values between January and June 2021. Exports rose to US$ 45.377 billion, an increase of 29% compared to 2020, consolidating ten months of consecutive monthly increases.
Chile’s commercial trade reached US$ 85.394 billion in the first six months of 2021, registering 35% growth compared to the same period in 2020. This figure is the highest since records began, according to the latest report from the International Economic Relations Undersecretary, using figures from the Central Bank of Chile.
Exports and imports registered record values between January and June 2021. Exports rose to US$ 45.377 billion, an increase of 29% compared to 2020, consolidating ten months of consecutive monthly increases. Imports recorded a value of US$ 40.017 billion, showing an increase of 43% compared to the same period in 2020.
The International Economic Relations (SUBREI) Undersecretary, Rodrigo Yáñez, pointed out that this dynamism “has been stimulated by an international scenario that is responding effectively to the considerable reduction of restrictions related to the pandemic, to the progress of vaccination programs, to better economic expectations and to greater household consumption.”
“These encouraging signs for our foreign trade are coming from our largest trading partners, including China, the United States, the European Union, South Korea and Japan. Without a doubt, our network of 30 trade agreements is acting as one of the primary catalysts for economic reactivation. Exports to FTA countries grew 27% in the first half of 2021,” Undersecretary Yáñez stated.
By the end of the first half of 2021, exports had grown among 90% of our trading partners, with increases led by China (+US$ 4.708 billion), the United States (+US$ 1.954 billion), Mercosur (+US$ 783 million), the European Union (+US$ 518 million) and Canada (+US$ 114 million). In addition to these major economies, exports to emerging partners, such as Malaysia, Panama, Central America, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam also grew.
Mineral exports totaled US$ 27.994 billion, growing 56% compared to 2020, while agricultural exports amounted to US$ 4.226 billion, registering a growth of 4%. Foreign sales of industrial products reached US$ 13.156 billion, an increase of 1%.
Regarding products, Chilean exports were led by copper, whose foreign sales reached a record US$ 25.711 billion, an increase of 58% compared to 2020. This represents 57% of Chile’s exports. The international price of copper averaged US$ 412 ¢/lb during this period, exceeding the 65% average for the same period in 2020 and showing its highest value since the first half of 2011 (US$ 429 ¢/lb). Additionally, non-copper exports totaled US$ 19.665 billion, a growth of 5% compared to the first half of 2020.
According to figures from the National Customs Service, 550 Chilean products and services showed record exports in the first half of 2021, in addition to copper. Among them were website hosting services, information technology consultancy, original television program production services, fresh cherries, salmon fillets, silver, frozen horse mackerel, canned mussels and bottled wine, among others. Between January and June 2021, 5,720 Chilean companies exported 2.5% less than in the same period in 2020 and 6,246 companies exported 8.4% less than in the first half of 2019.
For their part, imports demonstrated a notable recovery compared to 2020. Consumer goods totaled US$ 11.901 billion (+66%), intermediate goods registered US$ 19.766 billion (+35%) and capital goods amounted to US$ 8.349 billion (+36%). Growth in product imports was due to greater purchases of oil, automobiles, cargo trucks, cell phones, meat, electrical appliances, computers, clothing, televisions, perfumes, machinery and medicines abroad.
“One of the sectors that increased imports the most in 2021 is that of supplies to fight and control the spread of COVID-19. Imports of US$ 1.979 billion were recorded in the first six months of 2021. Among them, vaccine imports showed a significant rise (+509%), PCR reagents (+54%), gloves (+365%) and needles and cannulas (+40%), among others. 96% of these imports came from countries that have free trade agreements with Chile, among them China, the European Union and the United States,” the SUBREI Undersecretary explained.
In June, Chile’s commercial trade reached US$ 14.358 billion, an increase of 39% compared to the same month in 2020. The country’s exports totaled US$ 7.445 billion, an increase of 22% compared to June 2020, demonstrating ten successive monthly increases. Imports rose to US$ 6.912 billion, a growth of 64% compared to June 2020 and the fifth successive monthly increase.