Merchandise exports fell 0.8% year-on-year in May (April: +11.9% year-on-year). The May results were the sharpest drop since August 2020 and were driven by lower mining exports, likely due to labor unrest disrupting production. Meanwhile, merchandise imports jumped 13.0% from the same month last year in May (April: +26.1% y/y).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, posting a $0.4 billion surplus in May (April 2022: $0.2 billion surplus; May 2021: $0.9 billion surplus USA). Finally, the trend was downward, with the 12-month rolling merchandise trade balance recording a surplus of $15.2 billion in May, compared to a surplus of $15.7 billion in April.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast experts predict that merchandise exports will increase by 6.6% in 2022, while merchandise imports will rise by 7.4%, resulting in a trade surplus of $15.4 billion. According to our estimates, in 2023, exports and imports of goods will grow by 2.1% and 2.9%, respectively, and the trade surplus will be $15.4 billion.