Low oil prices are hurting oil-exporting nations, and Ecuador is a prime example.
It posted its largest trade deficit ever last year, $957 million, due to double blows from El Ni?o and the collapse of world oil prices. In 1997, it had registered a $598 million surplus.
For the first time since 1972, crude and products were no longer the country's largest source of export earnings, slipping to $825 million. They trailed behind bananas at $1.07 billion and shrimp at $852 million.
The last time Ecuador ran a trade deficit was in 1987, when an earthquake destroyed its main crude pipeline and interrupted it...