Ecuador first-half trade surplus rises to $390 mln

Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:09pm GMT
 

* Oil exports up 14.6 pct in value and 6.1 pct in volume

* Total imports rose 8.7 pct to $11.77 billion

QUITO Aug 13 (Reuters) - Ecuador posted a trade surplus of nearly $390 million for the first six months of 2012, the highest surplus for the period in at least four years, the central bank reported on Monday.

Total exports in the first six months of 2012 increased 10.1 percent to $12.16 billion, while imports rose 8.7 percent to $11.77 billion, the bank said in a statement.

The surplus for the first half of this year compares with a surplus of nearly $217 million for the first half of 2011. Ecuador reported deficits for the first six months of both 2010 and 2009.

"The 8 percent increase in prices of crude oil and refined products resulted in a 14.6 increase in the value of oil exports from the same period last year... to $7.37 billion," the bank said, adding that oil exports increased 6.1 percent in volume.

Ecuador is OPEC's smallest member, and its economic growth depends heavily on crude exports.

Shipments of non-oil products rose 3.8 percent in value to $4.79 billion. The Andean country is a large exporter of bananas, shrimp, tinned fish and flowers.

Meanwhile, imports of consumer goods increased 10.7 percent to $2.44 billion, the bank said.

The government last year said it would cut imports of car parts, household electronics, cellular telephones and other goods in a bid to shrink the deficit in the non-oil sector.

High oil prices allowed Ecuador to cut its trade deficit in 2011 to $717 million from $1.98 billion the previous year.

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