The trade balance tends to be favorable to Argentina when world demand for food is high. The country’s exports were worth $55.6 billion in 2007. Exports are principally animals and animal products, including meat, hides, and wool; grains, including wheat and corn; oilseed; petroleum products; and automobiles. Imports are typically machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, and airplanes and other vehicles; in 2007 imports cost $44.8 billion. Chief purchasers of exports are Brazil, the United States, Chile, China, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and Uruguay; leading sources for imports are Brazil, the United States, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
Argentina is a member of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA, known in Spanish as Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración, ALADI), which governs regional trade. It is also a member of the Southern Cone Common Market (also known by its Spanish acronym, MERCOSUR). Founded in 1991, MERCOSUR eliminates tariffs on many goods traded between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. A large portion of Argentina’s imports and exports are with its MERCOSUR partners. Chile is also an important trading partner with Argentina and other members of MERCOSUR.
Argentina’s currency is the peso argentino, consisting of 100 centavos. The Central Bank, which was established in 1935 and came under government control in 1949, functions as the national bank and has the sole right to issue currency. After an economic collapse Argentina in 2002 abandoned a law that had pegged the peso to the U.S. dollar on a one-to-one basis. The peso was devalued by 30 percent and allowed to float freely. "Argentina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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