While the country’s energy consumption remained practically frozen during the first half of the year, the fuel bill went up by 31%, because the average price of a barrel of oil increased by 29%.
The cost of petroleum was a determining factor in the trade deficit recorded in the January-June 2011 period. Other imports decelerated during the first six months.
The preliminary report on the Dominican economy, by the Central Bank, shows that the deceleration reflected in total imports is consistent with the slowing down of the economic growth rate.
Total imports increased by 16% in the first six months, compared to 27.2% for the same period last year.
The report highlights that the deceleration was greater in the case of national imports, which went from 33.1% growth in the January-June 2010 period, to 17.1% in January-June 2011.
The fuel bill was US$2,318,500,000, an increase of US$548,400,000 (31.0%), as a result of a 29.9% increase (US$20.0/barrel) in average fuel prices, and the growth in imported volumes reported by companies was barely 0.8%.
In its report, the Central Bank informs that during the period January-June 2011 international spot oil prices reached several peaks, with an average maximum of US$109.6 per barrel in June. “If this is compared to the average spot January-June 2011 (US$103.5 per barrel) with the average for the same period in 2010 (US$76.0/ba) this increase reaches US$27.6/ba (36.3%) in that the imported volumes reached just 220,967 barrels”, it states.
To compensate for the increase in the fuel bill, the trade balance was favorably balanced by the resumption of ferronickel imports, which reached a total of 119.7 million dollars in the second trimester. The Dominican Republic had not exported ferronickel since the second half of 2008.
Source: Dominican Today
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