Manufacturing, agricultural products, food, and beverages had double-digit growth.
Although Colombia's exports have taken a hit because of the pandemic, August saw a boost in foreign sales, with a double-digit increase compared to the same month last year, when the country was just beginning the path of economic recovery.
According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics, in August 2021 the country sold US$3.318 billion abroad, which represented an increase of 28.4% compared to the same month last year.
In this scenario, the sector that contributed the most to this increase was fuels, which had an increase of 26.6% compared to that period. In fact, in that month, exports of fuels and extractive industry products accounted for 43% of the total value of exports, followed by manufacturing with 26.3%, agriculture, food, and beverages with 24.5%, and other sectors with 6.3%.
Given the results, María Ximena Lombana, Colombia's Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, highlighted on her Twitter account the performance of the agricultural sector. She assured that exports of the agricultural and food sector totaled US$811.3 million in August and so far this year reached US$6 billion, the highest value recorded in the last 10 years.
Likewise, if we look at the year-to-date, fuels and extractive activities products continue to be the industry that has contributed the most to the recovery of exports, with a contribution of 9.8%, followed by manufacturing with 6.2%.
However, if the performance of exports is compared to what was recorded in 2019, there is still a lag. In the period from January to August 2021, a decrease in Colombian external sales of 7.2% is recorded, if compared to the same period of 2019. Exports of fuels and products of extractive industries recorded a decrease of 26.2%. Meanwhile, external sales of manufactured goods increased 1.7%, agricultural products, food and beverages 20.6%, and other sectors 87.6%.