MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — While the value of trade moving through South Florida fell just over 3 percent last year, gold is helping to balance loses.

The drop last year means Miami Customs District is now 12th  among the nation’s 43 customs districts.

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The numbers might have been worse if it weren’t for gold, according to The Miami Herald.

The region is a key transit point for Mexican and South American gold en route to Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

The global recession has sparked a surge in demand for gold and boosted its price.

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Total trade for the Miami region was more than $120 billion, with a 7 percent drop in exports, but imports were up by 2 percent.

The Herald reported Saturday that Brazil remains the region’s top trading partner, with $16.8 billion, in part due to the expansion of aircraft sales and aircraft parts. Colombia is distant second with $9.34 billion. Others in the top ten trading list: China, Venezuela, Honduras and Switzerland.

Although the value of trade through the Miami region dropped last year, overall U.S. international trade grew about .62 percent to $3.8 trillion.

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