The country's trade balance showed a surplus of $1.21 billion in April, not much different from the $1.24 billion last month, but 230% more than the same month last year. According to the Central Bank, Chile's exports amounted to US$5.35 billion in the fourth month of the year, down 6.6% on April 2019. Shipments of copper, the country's main export, reached US$2.38 billion, its lowest level since April 2017.
By implementing health protocols, adjustments to the logistics chain, customs measures and digital platforms run by ProChile, the country has succeeded in maintaining global exports at 97 per cent during the crisis, the government agency said. The food industry, worth US$16.9bn in 2019 and the country’s second largest sector after mining, has been the focus of most initiatives.
30% of total Chilean kiwifruit exports have gone to Europe, with 9,401 tonnes, followed by the Far East with 7,387 tonnes (24%), Latin America with 6,353 tonnes (21%) and North America with 4,281 tonnes (14%). With lower shares are Russia (6%) and the Middle East (5%), with 1,893 and 1,439 tons respectively
Chile's central bank decided to keep the benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, its technical minimum, as part of efforts to contain the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's economy. Traders and analysts expect the TPM to remain at 0.5% for at least one year.
The Chilean Pensions Administration received a total of 503,121 applications for job protection, of which 394,527 have been approved. The first group of workers, 74,543, will receive an average payment of between CH$273,774 ($327) and CH$369,497 ($441.4). The sectors most affected are tourism and commerce.