LA PAZ – Bolivian mining exports rose 53 percent by value in the first of the year compared with the same period in 2009, though volume was largely unchanged, the mining ministry said Tuesday.
The value of mining products exported in January-June totaled $1.15 billion, up from $754 million in the first half of last year.
The Bolivian mining sector’s main export markets are Japan, with $216 million in purchases; South Korea, $213 million; Belgium, $163 million; the United States, $125 million; and China, $99 million.
Export volumes, however, have barely budged.
Bolivia sold 203,000 tons of zinc to foreign buyers between Jan. 1 and June 30, an increase of only 2 percent over the same period in 2009, while tin exports grew by 1.6 percent and gold exports actually fell 37 percent.
The Bolivian government had mining revenues of $58 million in the first six months of 2010, nearly double the $30 million received in the first half of last year.
Increases in international metals prices have produced “very competitive revenues” compared with 2009, the president of state-owned Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, Hugo Miranda, said Tuesday.
As long as prices don’t fall, the value of Bolivian mining exports will rise by as much as 25 percent for 2010 as a whole, he said. EFE