* Chile notches $1.506 bln trade surplus in December
* Top export copper boosts balance
* Chile trade balance totals $4.208 bln in 2012
SANTIAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Chile marked its largest monthly trade surplus in December since April 2011, boosted by sales of top export copper, the central bank said on Monday.
December’s $1.506 billion trade surplus helped boost Chile’s annual surplus to $4.208 billion. But the 2012 figure is sharply down from 2011’s $10.792 billion surplus.
World No.1 copper producer Chile’s exports of the red metal reached $4.704 billion in December, their highest level in two years.
Chile’s small, export-dependent economy has generally fared better than expected despite slowing demand from top trade partner China and fallout from the euro zone crisis.
December’s trade surplus figure compares with a $1.176 billion surplus in December 2011, according to bank data. The figure is the second monthly surplus in a row following four consecutive deficits.
Exports totaled about $7.714 billion in December, while imports were about $6.208 billion.
Copper export revenue was up from $3.859 billion in November, the central bank added. Exports of the metal totaled $42.723 billion in 2012.
In addition to producing roughly a third of the world’s copper, Chile also exports fruits, wine, wood pulp and salmon.