«Coordinated by Paolo Giordano Integration and Trade Sector Trade Trend Estimates Latin America and the Caribbean 2016 Edition Coordinated by ...»
TRADE TREND ESTIMATES
AND THE CARIBBEAN
Integration and Trade Sector
Trade Trend Estimates
Latin America and the Caribbean
Integration and Trade Sector
Vice-Presidency for Sectors and Knowledge
Inter-American Development Bank
This report p presents estimate es of L Latin Ammerican aand Cari ibbean interna ational tr rade flow in 2015 prepare by the Integration and Trade ws 5 ed e Sector (INT) of the Inter-A r American Develop pment B Bank (IDDB) in collaboration with its Ins w stitute for the Inte egration o Latin A of America and the Caribbbean (INTTAL), under the ov verall supervision o Antoni Estevade of eordal, Manag of INT ger T.
This e edition wa coordinated by Paolo G as y Giordano, Principa Econom, al mist of INT, a and writtten in collaboration with Kathia Michalcze ewsky, P Patricia Iannuz zzi, and Alejandro Ramos Consultants and Senior Econom o s, r mist of INTAL respectively, and Jeremy Harris, INT Econom L, d mist.
Kyung An, Da gjo ana Chah hín, and Luigi Lanu contributed to the prod utti duction of stat tistical inf formation Federico Mazzell and Ma n. la auro de Oliveira pro ovided techniical supp port. Mau uricio Mesquita M Moreira, K Krista Luccenti and Ziga d Vodus sek provid ded valua able comm ments. Caamila Vieg gas-Lee, Carolina Osorio and Geri Smith supporte the tea in the preparation and d ed am dissemination of the puublication.
Estimaates are based on prelimin n nary quarrterly and monthly data av
Estimates for 2015 indicate that the merchandise exports of Latin America and the Caribbean will show a contraction of 14.0%. This would mean the largest drop since the international financial crisis, and a result that will take the total value of exports close to US$ 915 billion, barely above the 2010 level. Foreign sales will fall for the third consecutive year. Unlike in previous years, when performance was varied across subregional groups, in 2015 the contraction is estimated to affect nearly all countries. The behavior of the region's foreign sales is part -though with more intensityof the ongoing trend in world trade whose value has fallen 11.9% in JanuarySeptember as compared to the same period in 2014. Likewise, estimates indicate that regional imports will fall 10.3%, driven both by the commodity price dynamics and by the slower economic growth in the region.
LA‐18 Mexico South America World Trade Source: IDB Integration and Trade Sector, based on data from official sources and CPB for world trade.
Note: LA-18 corresponds to: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The weak performance of the region's foreign sales is explained mainly by the sharp correction in prices of the principal export products. This is due both to factors specific to those markets and to the deflationary pressure derived from the appreciation of the dollar, which is the unit of
General Outlook Subregional Impact – After two years of virtual stagnation, a severe deterioration in exports of Latin America and the Caribbean began to be observed in the final months of 2014, which deepened throughout 2015 (Figure 1).2 During the middle of the year, the quarterly moving average of the year-on-year growth rate began to stabilize, but in recent months the downward trend has strengthened again.
The countries of South America were the first to be affected as a consequence of the drop in commodity prices -especially of oil and metalsas well as the deceleration of demand in Asian economies. These factors are also responsible for the fact that the estimated contraction of South American exports in 2015 -at -21%, a rate double that of world trade- has most contributed to the overall regional decline.
In Mesoamerica export performance has deteriorated since the beginning of 2015 but is projected to have the smallest contraction of any LAC subregion, with an estimated decline for the year of 4%. This average encompasses a more significant contraction of Central American exports (-7%) than for Mexican exports (-4%), where the latter has a relatively larger weight in that subregion.
For their part, exports from the countries of the Caribbean will decline 23%, though this figure is only -9% when excluding Trinidad and Tobago, which accounts for a large share of subregional exports and is intensive in energy products.
The aggregate result for Latin American and Caribbean exports is the product of declines in almost all countries (see Table 1 for more detail). Of the 24 countries considered only two show growth in foreign sales: El Salvador (6%) and Guatemala (2%). The countries with the largest estimated contractions are those where hydrocarbons are an important
For more detail, see Giordano (coord.), Integration and Trade Monitor 2015, IDB.
2 component of the export basket: Venezuela (-49%), Colombia (-35%), Bolivia (-32%), Ecuador (-28%), and Trinidad and Tobago (-27%).
Markets – The poor performance of Latin American and Caribbean exports in 2015 comes in the context of scarce and irregular growth in principal trading partners, where the deceleration of economic activity in the Chinese economy and in the region itself are notable (Figure 2).
Source: IDB Integration and Trade Sector with data from the OECD and other official sources.
Note: LA-6 corresponds to the weighted average of the annual percentage changes of GDP in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. The weighting is based on GDP measured in terms of purchasing power parity.
In this context, there has been a clear, continuous contraction in the external demand for LAC exports (Figure 3).
The value of Chinese imports from the region suffered a sharp contraction in the first part of the year, which has moderated in recent months. Growth in the volume of commodities imported by China did not compensate, in most cases, the downward dynamics of prices. In volume, purchases of iron ore even fell slightly with respect to the same period in 2014. The growth in volume of copper imports was lower than the previous year, while that for oil was stable. Only for soybeans was the volume growth of Chinese imports from the region greater than in 2014. In value terms, exports to China are estimated to close the year with a decline of around 14%.
In general, the contraction of imports from the region by these economies has been larger than the contraction of their total imports, showing the severity of the situation faced by the external sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Source: IDB Integration and Trade Sector with data from IMF, United States International Trade Commission (USITC), Eurostat, China Customs, and national sources. The import series of all economies are valued in U.S. dollars.
Prices – The primary factor behind the export deterioration is rooted in the downward trend that, since the middle of 2011, has impacted the prices of the principal export commodities of Latin America and the Caribbean. This trend was accentuated in late 2014 (Figure 4).
The prices of commodities for final consumption such as soybeans, sugar, and coffee, are at levels similar to those recorded before the international 4 financial crises began in late 2008, that is, almost 50% below their historical peaks. Just between January and October of 2015 the price level of these three products fell, year-on-year, 25.5%, 26.2% and 19.5%, respectively.
Prices for energy products, mainly oil, and those related to investment, such as iron ore and copper, have suffered sharp declines. The first two essentially collapsed, with January-October accumulated year-on-year 2015 declines of 47.9% and 43.5%, respectively. In the case of copper the corresponding drop was 18.1%, with the decline accelerating in recent months. Oil and copper prices are at levels similar to those seen between 2005 and 2006, while for iron ore, the price is at the level of early 2008.
Source: IDB Integration and Trade Sector, based on data from IMF and Cochilco.
Performance by Subregion Mesoamerica – Exports from this subregion are expected to close the year at US$ 427 billion with an estimated contraction of 4%. The rate essentially reflects the evolution of Mexican exports (-4%), due to its weight in the total, though slightly accentuated by the relatively worse performance of Central American foreign sales (-7%). The rest of the countries in Mesoamerica have shown varied outcomes. Significant drops estimated for exports of Costa Rica (-17%), Panama (-15%), the Dominican Republic (-14%), Nicaragua (-5%), and, to a lesser extent, Honduras (-1%), are expected to be partially offset by moderate expansions in El Salvador (+6%) and Guatemala (+2%). Intra-regional trade has acted as a countercyclical factor during the year, with an estimated growth of 2%. The main contribution to this growth is in manufactures such as processed foods, plastics, textiles, and pharmaceuticals, among others. In contrast,
Despite signs of recovery in the United States economy, Mexico's principal trading partner and the destination of around 80% of its exports, foreign sales are estimated to fall 4% in 2015. The 3% reduction in sales to the United States is aggravated by contractions in shipments to China (-20%), to the European Union (-7%), and to the rest of Latin America (-10%). The combination of weak performance of manufactures and the dramatically lower price of oil explain this result.
Source: IDB Integration and Trade Sector, based on official national sources, except Venezuela, estimated from OPEC and IMF figures.
Notes: The table does not include the growth rates or absolute changes corresponding to destinations not selected; as a result, the sum of the absolute changes of selected destinations does not match the total. Data for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic include exports under Special Trade Regimes (STRs). For the countries of Central America, the subregional export growth corresponds to Mesoamerica; the Central American aggregate excludes Mexico. See Methodological Notes for further information on the procedures, time periods, and sources of data used in the estimates. The annual rates of change at the country and subregional levels are rounded to the nearest unit.
China, the rest of Asia, and the United States are responsible for the substantial decline in exports from Costa Rica (-17%). The contraction is derived mainly (13 percentage points) from the fall in exports covered by
El Salvador is projected to show good performance (+6%). Sales under STR showed greater dynamism than the rest: 9% vs. 5%, respectively.
However, due to their greater weight, general exports contributed more than two thirds of the growth of total exports. With the exception of the European Union, sales expanded to all partners. The largest contributions came from the United States, the rest of Mesoamerica (especially Guatemala and Nicaragua), and China. To the latter, exports quintupled due to a surge in sugar exports.
The estimated modest growth of foreign sales from Guatemala (+2%) results from an uneven performance among its most relevant partners. The strong growth to China (mainly sugar), the ASEAN countries, Japan, and to a lesser extent the rest of Latin America, was compensated by an important drop in exports to Korea, El Salvador, the United States, and Canada. The products with the largest positive contributions are iron and steel, bananas, pharmaceutical products, and textiles and apparel which were undermined by the drop in exports of oil, lead, alcoholic beverages, rubber, and precious metals and stones.
In Honduras there is also a small estimated change in exports, although negative (-1%).4 Notable contractions in sales to China (-80%) and Mexico (-48%) were partially compensated by growth of sales to the European Union (+8%) and to countries of South America (+47%). During the year there were observable increases in exports of the most relevant products, coffee and bananas, and important declines in shipments of palm oil, shrimp, and iron oxide.
The estimated contraction in shipments from Nicaragua (-5%) responds to similar drops in definitive and STR exports. Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela were the destinations with the largest negative contributions to this change. There was growth in shipments to the United States (+8%),
STR include regimes such as "free zones" in which goods are admitted under special dispositions (customs, tariffs, taxes, etc.) for processing and subsequent export. General exports do not benefit from such dispositions.
The data for Honduras do not include exports under STR.
7 principally of gold, and to the rest of Central America (+7%), propelled by foodstuffs.
General exports from Panama are estimated to show a significant contraction (-15%) explained by severe reductions in sales to China (-46%), the United States (-16%), and the European Union (-11%). The increases to the rest of Mesoamerica and Asia were scarcely relevant.