UPDATE 2-Chile posts first trade surplus in five months in Nov
* First surplus after 4 monthly deficits * Exports totaled $6.674 bln in Nov, imports $6.112 bln * Copper exports total $3.859 bln in Nov SANTIAGO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Chile posted its first monthly trade surplus in November after four consecutive deficits, as lower imports countered a drop in key copper export revenue, central bank data showed on Friday. The surplus grew to $562 million in November after a downwardly revised $411 million deficit in October and $287 million surplus in November 2011, according to central bank data. The bank had previously reported a $70 million surplus for October. Exports totaled about $6.674 billion in November, while imports were about $6.112 billion. Both figures were down compared with October and November 2011. Exports are closely monitored in Chile, a small, open economy largely dependent on sales of copper, as well as wood pulp, fruit and salmon. But the local economy has been supported by buoyant domestic demand this year, which is reflected in the country's sharp increase in imports over the last few years. The world No.1 copper producer has so far mostly defied forecasts for a sharp slowdown on the back of dwindling demand from top trade partner China and fallout from the euro zone's crisis. Chile's economic activity grew at its fastest annual pace this year in October, data showed on Wednesday, leading Finance Minister Felipe Larrain to predict the economy will likely grow around 5.5 percent this year. Consumer price index unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in November, far below what the market expected, chiefly due to lower prices for transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, data showed earlier on Friday. Chile accumulated a $2.702 billion trade surplus in the January to November period, central bank data showed. The country ended 2011 with a $10.792 billion surplus. Chile's copper export revenue totaled $3.859 billion in November, versus a previously reported $4.440 billion in October, the central bank said. Export revenue from the metal was $3.712 billion in November of last year, according to the bank. Copper prices rose to their highest level in more than five weeks in late November, supported by a weak dollar and growing confidence in the economic outlook for top consumer China. Chile, which produces roughly a third of the world's copper, is struggling with stubbornly dwindling ore grades in many of its aging, tired deposits though new and expanded deposits have helped increase output this year.
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