BUENOS AIRES Jan 10 Argentina's trade surplus
widened to $12.66 billion in 2012 from $10.35 billion in 2011,
President Cristina Fernandez said on Thursday.
"We finished the year with a trade surplus of $12.663
billion. In December alone the surplus was $502 million," the
two-term Peronist leader said in televised remarks.
The South American grains exporting country reported a $280
million trade surplus in December 2011.
Growth in Latin America's No. 3 economy has slowed sharply
due to sluggish global demand, high inflation, a poor grains
harvest and the impact of government import and currency
controls on business confidence and investment.
Eleven months ago the government imposed tough new rules on
purchases abroad. Cooling domestic demand has also reduced
The trade surplus is a source of foreign currency in a
country that uses the central bank's foreign reserves to pay
debt. Argentina has been virtually locked out of global credit
markets since its massive sovereign debt default in 2002.