End of the line for Colombia's 'growth locomotive'
Boom times in Colombia's mining and oil sectors, dubbed by the nation's president as a "locomotive" driving economic growth, have ended, Bloomberg reports.
"The economy’s dynamism in the future will depend on internal demand, and strategic investments in public works,” central bank co-director Adolfo Meisel was quoted by the media company as saying.
With the coal price last month hitting its lowest level since 2009 and various factors weakening oil production, "the mining and energy boom has passed," Meisel said in a speech Tuesday in Barranquilla.
A drop in Western European demand for power amid warm weather has depressed prices of coal, Colombia's second-largest export.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg said the Colombian government predicted this year that oil output would decrease for the first time since 2005 due to environmental permit delays, community protests and pipeline damage from Marxist rebel assaults.
Earlier this year, Colombia’s coal production jumped 33.8% to 24.6 million tonnes, with the country exporting 97% of its output between January and March.
Still, total coal exports fell 13.1% in the quarter, shrinking to 15.1 million tonnes from 17.4 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2013.
Under President Juan Manuel Santos's government, record-high foreign investment has flowed into oil and mining.