According to ECLAC’s “Prospects for International Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean 2022” report, Venezuela recorded a 63% growth in exports, followed by Colombia with a 49% growth.
Venezuela and Colombia lead export growth in Latin America
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that the value of regional exports of goods will grow by 20% in 2022. This figure would have been driven by a 14% increase in prices and a 6% expansion of the volume exported.
Based on the report ‘Prospects for International Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean 2022’, the Commission indicates that the value of regional imports of goods also increased by 24%. As with exports, the bulk of the increase in the value of this regional activity is due to the price component.
Countries with the most significant increases in the region were Venezuela, with a rise of 63%; Colombia, with 49%; Ecuador, with 32%; Bolivia, with 31%; and Brazil, with 22%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the increase was 20%; in the Caribbean alone it was 43%, while in South America it was 23% and in Central America 16%.
Regional exports of goods had their second year of double-digit growth after growing 27% the previous year. However, as in 2021, the expansion of shipments was driven mainly by external factors such as the rise in prices of raw materials, particularly fuels and not by the ability to increase the volume exported or diversify the regional export offer to new sectors.
“In contrast to the slowdown in trade in goods, the region’s trade in services shows a significant recovery by growing 45% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. This is mainly due to the reactivation of tourism, followed by other services, which include the so-called modern services”, reads the report.
Among the region’s main trading partners, exports to the European Union were estimated to be the most dynamic in 2022, with a growth in value of 26%. In addition, for the first time since 2015, exports to China were the least dynamic, growing by only 8%.
ECLAC warns that, in a context marked by the conflict in Ukraine, high inflation, lower growth, geopolitical tensions and the persistence of the pandemic, world trade will continue to suffer a slowdown, so the volume of trade is expected to grow by 1% in 2023.