PREVIEW-Argentina October trade surplus seen slimming

WHAT: Argentina trade balance in October (ARTBAL=ECI: )

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. (1900 GMT)

REUTERS FORECAST: $950 million surplus, down 17.4 percent
from same month a year earlier, according to the median
forecast of nine analysts who took part in the survey.
Estimates ranged from $340 million to $1.32 billion.

FACTORS TO WATCH: Argentina’s trade surplus is expected to
shrink year-on-year in October as imports soar due to strong
domestic demand, and exports grow, but not as rapidly. In
September, the trade surplus widened 22.8 percent to $1.07
billion. [ID:nN22213408]

Exports are increasing due to record corn and soy harvests
coupled with higher commodity prices, and booming car sales to
regional powerhouse Brazil. But imports are growing at an even
brisker pace, fueled by robust economic growth. The government
forecasts the economy will expand 9 percent this year.

High inflation means locally produced goods are becoming
more expensive, making imported goods more attractive.

“Imports are getting cheaper and are growing at a rate of
more or less 50 percent year-on-year every month,” said Mario
Sotuyo, an analyst with the Economy and Regions consultancy.

Argentina’s trade surplus widened 35 percent in 2009 to
$16.9 billion as imports plunged due to the impact of the
global economic downturn.

MARKET IMPACT: The government has acted to protect industry
and reduce imports to safeguard the trade surplus, one of the
pillars of its economic model. A healthy surplus allows the
government to accumulate foreign currency (Read more about trading foreign currency. reserves, which it
plans to tap next year to pay debt.

LINKS: Argentina’s bureau of statistics website:

For historical Argentine statistical data in Spanish,
please see pages (ARECI09: ) through (ARECI14: ).

For a calendar of Argentine economic indicators click on
(ECONAR: ) or type in ECONAR on a quote page and press enter.

For separate pages detailing Argentine analysts’ economic
forecasts click on: (ARECI05: ) (ARECI06: ) (ARECI07: ) (ARECI08: ).
(Reporting by Walter Bianchi, Juliana Castilla, Hilary Burke
and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by James

PREVIEW-Argentina October trade surplus seen slimming