According to the Comparative Analysis of Foreign Trade in the First quarter of 2021 vs. the same quarter of 2020 of the Maritime Port Chamber of Chile, Camport, the total value of maritime foreign trade in the first quarter of 2021 was 23.4% higher than in the same period of last year. This increase is mainly explained by general cargo, which grew by 25.2% compared to 2020 and accounted for 56.5% of the total value of foreign trade in the first three months of this year.
Exports and Imports
The total cargo exported in the first quarter of 2021 was 1.5 million tons lower than in the same period of 2020, mainly because of a decrease in solid bulks. The total value of exports increased by 3,318 million dollars, which is mainly explained by an increase in the value of general cargo and bulk.
During this period, the total cargo imported increased by 0.4 million tons, mainly because of an increase in general cargo. The total value of imports increased by 2,861 million dollars, mainly due to an increase in general cargo.
During the first quarter of 2021, the movement of containers (TEU) nationwide increased by 3.0% over the same period of 2020, mainly due to the 16.6% increase registered in March 2021. This is also consistent with the increase in general cargo, which corresponds to the type of cargo that uses containers. In the same period, TEUs associated with imports increased by 4.7%, and TEUs for cargo in transit grew by 17.2%. TEUs associated with exports decreased by 0.4%.
In the northern macro area, the transfer of TEUs increased by 7.2% over the same period of 2020. In the central macro area, the transfer of TEUs increased by 12.0%. In the south-central macro area, it fell by 15.1%. The main ports specialized in container transfers are located in these two macro areas. In the southern macro area, the transfer of TEU decreased by 53.7%. However, this lower activity corresponds mainly to cabotage, not to foreign trade.
Exports to Asia
China leads the ranking of Chilean exports, with a 50% share in 2020. In the first quarter of 2020, Chile exported 9.6 million tons of products to the countries taken into account in the analysis, a volume that fell to 9.0 million during this first quarter of 2021, i.e. a 6.5% negative variation.