Argentine trade by region in the period 1990–2011

February, 2013
Carlos D' Elía
Daniel Berrettoni

Over the last twenty years, Argentine foreign trade showed significant changes in the relation with its main partners which were reflected both in each of its partners’ shares in Argentine exports and imports and in the composition of Argentine trade. Some of these changes are explained by world market trends: China has increased its share in all the markets. Other changes, however, are the result of a specific logic: Argentina has stood out, even between Latin American countries, in relation to the weight Latin America had in foreign trade.

The greatest modifications at aggregate level –both in Argentine total exports and imports– were triggered by an increase in the shares of Latin America and Asia, and by a reduction in the shares of the United States and of the European Union.

Increased trade with Latin America made it possible for Argentina to increase its exports of industrial manufactures, since this region stood out mainly as export destination of medium- and high-technology products. In particular, MERCOSUR is characterized by increased intra-industry trade in manufactures, which has been reinforced in the last two decades.

In contrast, increased trade with China was characterized by inter-industry trade, which included exports of agricultural products and imports of industrial manufactures. This phenomenon can also be observed in the trade relations between the other Latin American countries and the Asian country. (Full text only available in Spanish).