… in other news, trade in wine, fish, fruit is disrupted 

The Chilean earthquake may have shifted the Earth’s axis by 3 inches and shortened the length of an earth day by about 1.26 microsecond NASA calculates. It has most certainly caused hundreds of casualties and at least $US30 billion in damages.

Now add to the toll the disruption of Chile’s export sectors.

As the AP reports (here, in the Miami Herald), the tsunami that hit Talcahuano wiped out that port city’s $40-million business in anchovies and sardines. The quake chewed up the nation’s only north-south highway, halting shipment of farm-raised salmon. According to The Datamyne’s trade data, Chilean exports of fish (fresh and frozen) and fish products were valued (FOB) at more than US$1.1 billion in 2009.

The Maule region, most affected by the quake, is the heart of Chile’s wine growing region. Chile’s biggest winemaker, Concha y Toro, said Monday that it would be halting production for at least a week.

All told, Chile exported approximately US$50 billion in 2009, with the U.S., its second-biggest market, buying US$5.6 billion worth of goods and commodities.

Not all the news is bad: Chile’s copper mining and refining operations, concentrated well north of the quake epicenter, were relatively unscathed. Key ports of departure for Chile’s top export, Antofagasta and Mejillones, were back in operation within hours.

The Datamyne Chilean database provides comprehensive information about the nation’s import-export trade — including bill of lading details about transactions. The Datamyne’s data assets can also be used to locate alternate sources of supply in the Americas, Asia and Europe. To learn more, click here.

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