Nearshore Americas

Study: Slowdown in China and Europe Weakens Latin America Exports


Latin America’s export growth decreased to 1.5 percent in 2012, partly due to falling demand for commodities in China and the recession in Euro zone.

The total export value for the year hovered above $1 trillion, says a new study from Inter-American Development Bank.

Given the report, LatAm’s export has been declining for the past two years after seeing a rapid rise in 2009 and 2010. In 2010 and 2011, exports increased by 29% and 26%, respectively.

“By mid-2011, export growth had stalled, and then continued to weaken in 2012,” the report added.

Despite the overall slowdown of export dynamism, results varied considerably among individual countries, according to the study. Exports from Chile and the MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela) contracted an estimated 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively. But for Mexico and Central America, exports grew by an estimated 6 percent, while the Andean countries posted a 5 percent gain.

In Europe, economic setbacks resulted in a 5 percent drop in demand for Latin American exports, while lower growth in China and Korea sharply slowed the region’s export growth to Asia as a whole, from 25 percent in 2011 to only 1 percent this year. As a result, the countries more reliant on Europe and Asia, such as MERCOSUR and Chile, showed markedly poorer performance.

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But the economic recovery in the United States fueled growth in Latin American exports to that country by an estimated 3 percent. Benefits mostly went to the countries with the closest economic ties to the North American market, such as Mexico, Central America, and to a lesser extent, the Andean countries.


Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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