Argentine trade exchange - First five months of 2023

Thursday, 22 June 2023

In the first five months of the year, exports amounted to US$ 28 billion, experiencing a y-o-y contraction of 22.1%, while imports totalled US$ 30.7 billion, representing a 6.3% decrease. The trade balance resulted in a deficit of US$ 2.7 billion.


• Between January and May 2023, exports reached US$ 28 billion, corresponding to a y-o-y contraction of 22.1%. This can be accounted for by a 16.2% decline in quantities and a 7.0% in prices.

• Imports amounted to US$ 30.7 billion during the same period. They fell by 6.3% as a result of contractions of 4.2% in quantities and 2.2% in prices. This decrease can mainly be explained by lower prices and quantities imported for Fuels and lubricants, as well as Capital goods. On the other hand, imports of Parts and accessories for capital goods rose, both due to higher quantities and price increases.

• The trade balance resulted in a US$ 2.7 billion deficit, whereas during the same period in 2022, a US$ 3.2 billion surplus had been achieved. This deficit is primarily due to a larger contraction in exports compared to imports.

Gráfico 1

• The largest declines in exports were observed in wheat (decreasing by US$ 2.8 billion), soybean meal and pellets (−US$ 1.4 billion), maize (−US$ 1.3), soybean oil (−US$ 1.0 billion), and biodiesel (−US$ 914 million).

• The main increases in exports correspond to motor vehicles for the transport of goods with a total weight not exceeding 5 tonnes (pick-ups, US$ 450 million); motor vehicles for the transport of persons, with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 1,000 cm3 (US$ 220 million); soybeans (US$ 206 million); and natural gas in gaseous state (US$ 202 million).

• In the case of the soybean complex, it is worth noting the price increases for meal and pellets (4.5%), while prices declined for oil (−24.8%), biodiesel (−10.3%), and beans (−2.4%). Regarding the quantities exported, there was a decrease in the exports of biodiesel (−82.2%), meal and pellets (−31.4%), and oil (−14.0%), while there was an increase in the exports of beans (152.8%).

• On the imports side, outstanding increases include the higher purchases of soybeans (US$ 1.5 billion) –due to the industry’s need for processing in the context of a drought that has been reducing local production– as well as electric energy (US$ 251 million) and iron or steel tubes used in oil and gas pipelines (US$ 208 million). Conversely, there were decreases in the imports of gas oil (−US$ 737 million), vaccines (−US$ 238 million), natural gas in gaseous state (−US$ 234 million), and liquefied natural gas (−US$ 222 million).

Gráfico 2


• The three main trading partners, Brazil, China, and the United States, together accounted for 33.3% of the exports and supplied 53.5% of the imports in the first five months of the year. On the other hand, the European Union accounted for 10.1% of the exports and 14.6% of the imports.

• The highest surpluses were recorded in trade with Chile (US$ 1.7 billion), Peru (US$ 1.1 billion), and India (US$ 583 million).

• The highest deficits were recorded with China (US$ 3.1 billion), Brazil (US$ 2.8 billion), Paraguay (US$ 1.4 billion), the United States (US$ 1.2 billion), Germany (US$ 895 million), and Thailand (US$ 644 million).