Colombia narrows trade deficit amid rising crude sales to China

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Colombia reduced its trade deficit by almost US$5bn in 2017, as rising crude oil exports more than offset higher demand for foreign-made machinery and equipment.

The Andean nation registered a negative full-year trade balance of US$6.18bn, down from a US$11.09bn deficit in 2016, statistics agency Dane said on Wednesday.

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The figure was boosted by a surplus of US$485mn in December, turning around a US$384mn shortfall a year earlier.

The agency said Colombia's deficit with China fell by US$763mn "due to the US$684mn increase in exports of crude oil."

Meanwhile total imports rose 2.6% – after falling 17% in 2016 – to US$46.08bn.

The increase owed largely to a 3.9% jump in inbound shipments of manufactured goods to US$35.23bn, Dane said.

"These purchases were driven by machinery and transport equipment," the agency added.