According to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of 2007 trade data from Eurostat, Brazil has replaced Mexico as the European Union's top market in Latinamerica. Meanwhile Latinamerica trade with the European Union continues to grow at faster levels than with the United States, the analysis shows.
"That's not surprising since the European economies keep growing, while the United States is slowing down," says Isaac Cohen, president of US-based consultancy Inverway and a former director of the Washington office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).
EU trade with Latinamerica grew by 11.5% in 2007 to record of 160 billion euros equivalent to 245 billion US dollars. EU exports to Latin America reached 71.4 billion euros, up 12.8%, while EU imports from Latinamerica grew by 10.5% to 88.6 billion euros.
That means Latinamerica trade with the EU is growing nearly twice as much as its trade with the United States, which only grew by 6.2% last year.
EU also continues to have a much smaller trade deficit with Latinamerica than the United States: last year it reached 17.3 billion euros (US$ 26.5 billion), up 1.7% from 2006. By comparison, the US deficit reached US$ 100.5 billion. However, the EU still lags the US in terms of total trade with Latin America.
Last year's EU trade with the region was less than half of U.S.-Latin America trade.