Exports declined 5 percent to USD 15.94 billion from USD 16.78 billion a year earlier, dragged by lower sales of primary goods (-8.7 percent) and industrial products (-3.2 percent), of which manufactured (-6.7 percent) and semimanufactured (+7.4 percent). Among major trading partners, exports decreased to the Euro Area (-6.1 percent) and ASEAN countries (-32.5 percent); while those to China (+9.5 percent), the US (+4.5 percent) and Argentina (+39.2 percent) rose.
Imports went up 9.3 percent to USD 11.53 billion from USD 10.54 billion in December 2015, as purchases rose the most for intermediate goods (+20.7 percent) and consumer goods (+19.6 percent). Meanwhile, imports of fuels and lubricants (-15 percent) and capital goods (-15.7 percent) continued to fall. Among major trading partners, imports rose from China (+36.5 percent), the US (+19.2 percent) and Argentina (+48 percent).
Considering the whole year, the trade surplus widened sharply to USD 47.69 billion, its largest trade surplus on record, compared to USD 19.69 billion in the same period in 2015. Exports fell 3.1 percent to USD 185.24 billion due to a decrease in sales of primary goods (-9.2 percent), while exports rose for industrial products (+2.7 percent). Meanwhile, imports shrank 19.8 percent to USD 137.55 billion, led by falls in fuels and lubricants (-42.9 percent), intermediate goods (-14.6 percent), capital goods (-21.2 percent) and consumer goods (-19 percent). Imports fell from China (-24 percent), the US (-10.1 percent), the Euro Area (-15.2 percent) and Argentina (-11.7 percent).