Colombian exports to the US They grew in July because of the price of crude oil

Published on 22 November 2018

Despite the mixed results in the evolution of the main products, hydrocarbons allowed Colombian exports to expand.

During July 2018, the price of a barrel of WTI oil fluctuated in a range between US $ 68 and US $ 74, while in the same month of the previous year, it did between US $ 44 and US $ 50. In this way, crude oil and most of its derivatives recorded an increase in the value of its exports to the United States, its main destination, with 29.7% of participation in 2017, followed by Panama and China, with 7.2% and 5.3 %, respectively.

In contrast, the price of coal fell due to lower demand. Consequently, the value of shipments of thermal coal to power the power plants, which has this mineral as its third main source of greater participation (14%), then oil (37%) and gas (29%) , decreased.

The following is the detail of the evolution of exports in July, both in terms of total value and unit average value.

On the side of agricultural products, coffee, being a commodity, was affected by the fall in its price, although the value was much lower. This did not happen with the flowers, which have much less competition specifically with Ecuador, and there was an increase in the total value of their shipments despite the drop in prices.

On the other hand, it is important to note the importance of Colombia as an industrial supplier. Aluminum doors, frames and windows managed to increase the value of their shipments by an increase in the amount of merchandise exported, and are a sample of the varied offer that includes components of aircraft and helicopters.

Regarding the means of transport used, the maritime route predominates because of the distance between both countries, but more than a fifth of the value of the shipments was generated by products sent by plane. High-value products such as gold are shipped by air, or high-fragility products such as flowers; although in the latter case, the maritime route is also used. It should be mentioned that, although they represent 24% of exports in terms of value, exports by air only add up to 13.7% of the total in terms of weight or volume. In the following tables, the distribution of shipments by way, and the main products sent by air are detailed.

In general, although they depend largely on energy commodity prices, Colombian exports are diversified through agricultural and industrial products, and must continue to consolidate the second part to achieve coverage.
However, the energy part has the greatest potential to boost the country's economy.

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