SANTIAGO.- The Chilean economy registered a trade surplus of US$ 10.16 billion for the entire year of 2008. The figure is 57% less than the previous year due to lower export levels and a plunge in raw material prices and drop in external demand as a result of the international crisis.
During its monthly report, the Central Bank announced today that Chile registered a trade deficit for the month of December 2008 of US$ 224 million, compared to a surplus of US$ 837 million registered during the same month of 2007.
As the largest copper producer in the world, Chile has been heavily affected by the free fall in metal prices over recent months after having reached historic high marks during the middle of 2008.
Between January and December of 2008, Chilean exports climbed to some US$ 67.788 billion dollars, which was 0.2% higher than the same period of the previous year.
For all of 2008, imports reached approximately US$ 57.628 billion dollars – representing a 37% increase in comparison to 2007.
In December, Chilean exports abroad reached US$ 3.625 billion dollars, indicating a 24.4% drop when compared to the same month of the previous year. Meanwhile, imports climbed to approximately US$ 3.849 billion dollars after slipping 2.7%.