News summary: In the foregoing first quarter of 2023, Venezuela’s exports of non-mining and non-industrial exports including dairy and essential oil expanded substantially and this will be beneficial for neighboring Columbia.
Recovering trade with Venezuela is one of the great news for Columbia’s agriculture, not only because exports are improving due to the ease of logistics and infrastructure, but also because products such as dairy products and derivatives had their best moment in shipments abroad when the neighboring country had a moderately stable economy.
The figures for the last quarter are very telling: of the US$144.9 million exported value, nearly US$136.4 million corresponds to non-mining and energy goods, an item that grew 29.2%.
Although exports were mainly driven by candies and confectionery, with a share of 8.3%. Close behind were products such as mineral fertilizers, with sales of US$6.4 million, Venezuela’s palm oil and its fractions, which grew 47.4%, and premixes for animal feed, with an increase of 5,468%.
Other products that had a significant growth were milk and cream, which sold US2.7 million. Wheat flour also grew by 481.9%, as well as some products such as sweet and salty cookies.
Exports of dairy products and derivatives are the best example of the opportunity offered by Venezuela as a trading partner. In 2009, when that market was booming and bought many of these products from Colombia, 16,000 tons of dairy products, cheese, butter, powdered and liquid milk, and yogurts, among others, were shipped before the government at that time closed the doors to trade.
In 2010, these exports fell by a little over 5,000 tons, and since then, shipments of this product to Venezuela have been oscillating without any glory for the country’s dairy industry.
A greater effort is needed from the agricultural sector to have an export mentality that is not limited to production surpluses.