WRAPUP 1-Chile trade deficit sharply narrows in September - cenbank

Mon Oct 8, 2012 8:42am EDT

* Chile posts fourth trade deficit this year

* Exports rise to $5.971 bln, imports slide to $6.008 bln

* Chile copper export revenue totals $3.523 bln in September

SANTIAGO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Chile posted a $37 million trade deficit in September, its third monthly trade gap in a row and fourth in total this year, sharply narrowing from an $843 million deficit in August and $95 million deficit in July, the central bank said on Monday.

The last time export-dependent Chile posted so many monthly deficits was in late 2008, when its trade balance was in the red from August through November.

September's deficit compares with a $228 million surplus in the same month of 2011, according to revised central bank data.

Exports totaled about $5.971 billion in September, rising from $5.886 billion in August. Imports were about $6.008 billion in September, sliding from $6.728 billion the prior month.

World No.1 copper producer Chile depends on its key exports of the red metal, salmon, wine and forestry products but its solid domestic demand has kept import volumes high.

Economic growth in Chile is seen slowing to 4.8 percent next year, held back by global turbulence and down slightly from an upwardly revised 5 percent estimate for 2012, a Finance Ministry report showed on Tuesday.

Chile has proved surprisingly resilient to the euro zone debt crisis so far this year, but economic growth in the small, export-dependent country is seen slowing in 2013 on ebbing global demand.

Chile's copper export revenue totaled $3.523 billion in September, jumping from a previously reported $2.955 billion in August, the central bank said.