Chile exports increase 30% in 2010, led by copper and lumber

Feb 08, 2011 12:00 AM

Chile achieved a record year for exports in 2010, according to a report by ProChile. Exports in 2010 were valued to be $ 69.6 bn , up nearly 30% from the 2009 figure, $ 53.7 bn.
Copper remains the backbone of Chilean exports. The jump in exports is attributed to the rising price of copper as well as the global economic recovery, which spurred demand for the nation’s goods. The value of copper exports increased 43.1% in 2010, earning $ 11.8 bn billion USD. Copper production only increased 0.5% according to the Chilean Copper Commission, but the price of copper increased substantially in 2010, from $ 2.34/pound to $ 3.42/pound.

Chile’s other leading mineral exports, molybdenum and gold, also saw increased export value. Molybdenum increased 15% in 2010, reaching $ 1.5 bn. Gold exports increased 14%, reaching $ 1 bn.
Despite the effects of the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake, Chile’s forestry industry maintains its place as the second-largest export industry, in part due to increased lumber prices. Exports of Chilean lumber increased 19% in 2010, earning$ 5.6 bn.

Salmon and trout fisheries together form the third most valuable national export, accounting for 4.2 bn in 2010.
The sectors most negatively affected in 2010 were those associated with agriculture. Despite a weak dollar though, wine exports increased 12%, totalling $ 1.5 bn.
According to Vinos de Chile, the volume of wine exports increased 11% and the price of wine increased one percent, reaching an industry average of $ 26.90 per case.
Table grapes, Chile’s primary fruit export, grew 4.1% and totalled$ 1.2 bn.
China is the leading importer of Chilean goods and Chinese demand for Chilean goods increased 43% in 2010, to a value of $ 16.5 bn. Japan recently displaced the US as Chile’s number 2 trading partner in 2010, importing $ 7.1 bn in goods.

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