A drop in imports accounted for more than 85 percent of the decline in foreign trade, with imports falling 19 percent year on year to 42.636 billion U.S. dollars, according to a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Undersecretary of International Economic Relations (Subrei).
Exports totaled 50.842 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of the year, a 3 percent drop compared to the same period of 2019.
However, in September, shipments registered a 4 percent rise year on year to total 5.463 billion U.S. dollars, thanks to increased shipments of copper, iron, gold, bottled wine, silver and iodine, among other goods.
Subrei Undersecretary Rodrigo Yanez said, "The improved outlook reported by our trade partners was reflected in an increase in the demand for our exportable supply."
In fact, five of Chile's seven main export industries -- minerals, manufacturing, agriculture, wines and services -- experienced an increase in sales abroad in September compared to the same month of 2019, he said.
September was the third month to register an increase in exports since the beginning of the pandemic, along with June and July.
The largest export growth was registered in shipments to China, Southern Common Market (Mercosur) members, the Pacific Alliance, Bolivia, the European Free Trade Association and Central America, according to the statement.