* 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 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
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
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
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.