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Friday, August 14, 2009

Ecuador registers first trade deficit since 2002

Ecuador's trade balance was negative in the first half of 2009 for the first time in seven years, as oil exports fell 60 percent on lower oil prices.

Ecuador's central bank says the country had a deficit of $721 million in the first half of 2009, down from a $2.4 billion surplus in the same January-June 2008 period.

Total exports fell 41.8 percent, while oil exports fell 60 percent over the same period in 2008 from $6.7 billion to $2.7 billion due to the global financial crisis.

Ecuador relies on oil exports for 40 percent of its national budget.

The central bank says non-oil exports like shrimp, banana and flowers fell 6 percent in the first half of 2009 over the same 2008 period, from $3.4 billion to $3.2 billion.

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