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Trade between Chile and China up 46.9% in the first quarter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to data prepared by the Customs Studies Department, between January and March this year, exports totaled US$8,571.7 million, an increase of 42.4% over the same period in 2020. Imports, meanwhile, totaled US$5,334.3 million with an increase of 63.3%.

Reviewing the detail for the month of March, it can even be seen that imports increased 136.5% compared to the same month in 2020, reaching US$2,065 million, while exports grew 48.6% with shipments for US$2,597.4 million.

Trade exchange between Chile and China grew 46.9% during the first quarter with an even more marked impulse during March. (Photo internet reproduction)

National Director of Customs José Ignacio Palma detailed that “the trade figures have ratified during the last months the importance of having taken adequate contingency measures to tackle the pandemic. This has allowed us to have a foreign trade in constant growth and contributing decisively to the development of Chile.”

Palma added that “in the particular case of trade with China, the first half of 2021 again shows that the Asian giant is today the cornerstone of Chilean foreign trade, so many of our control and inspection efforts are focused on import and export processes with this country.”

Shipments abroad

Up to March 31st this year, China remained the main buyer with a 40.9% share of total Chilean exports. Exports from the mining sector represented 74.4% of total shipments to the country, at US$6,381 million and an increase of 57.6% over the same period last year.

Within the basket of mining products, shipments of copper ores and concentrates accounted for 62.4% of the mining sector’s exports, with copper accounting for the second largest share, with 29.3%, and a positive variation of 17.7%.

Non-mining exports accounted for 25.6% of shipments to China, totaling US$2,191 million. Fruit and nuts exports accounted for 64.7%, registering an increase of 24.0% and totaling US$1,418 million. This increase is largely explained by the 38.1% rise recorded by cherries, compared to March 2020.

A 15.7% share of non-mining domestic sales to China corresponded to shipments of Forest products and their derivatives, which posted a positive variation of 1.3%, compared to the same period in 2020, mainly due to the 11.8% increase in the amount of cellulose shipments.

The Other food group represented 8.7% of non-mining exports and posted an increase of 5.3%. The Wine sector showed a positive variation of 41.8%, due to the increase in wine exports, which rose by 40.6%. Finally, within seafood products, salmon and trout posted a decrease of 87.8%.


China was the country’s main supplier, with a 29.2% share. Fuel and lubricant imports accounted for 2.0% of imports from China, which fell by 13.7%.

Meanwhile, imports of non-fuel products, up to March 31st, 2021, recorded an increase of 66.3% compared to 2020. Purchases of Chinese Machinery presented a positive variation of 53.0%, mainly caused by the acquisitions of mechanical shovels, excavators, loaders and shovel loaders and generator sets, which posted an increase of 189.8% and 155.7%, respectively.

Technology sector products posted an increase of 93.9%, compared to the period from January 1st to March 31st, 2020, due to the increase in imports of televisions (207.2%) and computers and their parts (135.3%).

Meanwhile, the entry into the country of goods classified under the category of Means of transport and their parts posted an increase of 153%.

Finally, clothing, accessories and footwear recorded a negative variation of 5.7%, while the Food and Other relevant products groups increased by 84.4% and 108.8%, respectively, highlighting in Food the 185.1% increase in produce and fruits and within Other Products the 124.6% increase in fertilizers.

Source: Portal Portuario

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