Latin America and the Caribbean, 2016
This report presents estimates of Latin American and Caribbean international trade flows in 2015 prepared by the Integration and Trade Sector (INT) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with its Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL).
Estimates for 2015 indicate that the merchandise exports of Latin America and the Caribbean will show a contraction of 14.0%. This would mean the largest drop since the international financial crisis, and a result that will take the total value of exports close to US$ 915 billion, barely above the 2010 level. Foreign sales will fall for the third consecutive year...
For their part, exports from the countries of the Caribbean will decline 23%, though this figure is only -9% when excluding Trinidad and Tobago, which accounts for a large share of subregional exports and is intensive in energy products. The aggregate result for Latin American and Caribbean exports is the product of declines in almost all countries.
Of the 24 countries considered only two show growth in foreign sales: El Salvador (6%) and Guatemala (2%). The countries with the largest estimated contractions are those where hydrocarbons are an important component of the export basket: Venezuela (-49%), Colombia (-35%), Bolivia (-32%), Ecuador (-28%), and Trinidad and Tobago (-27%).
For the six countries of the Caribbean for which 2015 export data are available, estimates show an aggregate decline of 23%, or 9% when Trinidad and Tobago is excluded. The most pronounced contraction is observed in this latter country (-27%), followed by Suriname (-14%), Belize (-13%), Jamaica (-7%), Barbados (-5%), and Guyana (-4%). The principal markets of the Caribbean -the United States, the European Union, and the subregion itself- all showed negative performance.
The reduction in exports from Barbados (-5%) responds mainly to the decline in intra-regional shipments, which offset the increases in sales to the United States and to the European Union. The European Union and Mexico are the partners that most contributed to the decline in the exports of Belize (-13%).
The moderate decline in exports from Guyana (-4%) is explained by a contraction in sales to the United States and Canada, attenuated by higher shipments to Panama, to Caribbean partners, and to the European Union. All principal trading partners contributed to the 7% decline in Jamaica's exports in 2015. The most relevant, due to their weight in the total, were with the United States, the European Union, and the Caribbean subregion.
The estimated reduction in exports from Suriname (-14%) is due to lower purchases from the United States. The collapse in oil prices has severely affected the exports of Trinidad and Tobago (-27%), with the United States and intraregional partners being the destinations the most contributed to the contraction.