Latin America will benefit from having “more firepower” than other regions, as strong international reserves are already helping those countries face commodity price collapses, said Lisa Schineller, Standard & Poor’s economist.

BNAmericas (subs. required) reports that Schineller estimates Latin America’s central banks having roughly $800 billion in international reserves by the end of 2012. The figure is five times higher than what they had in 2002.

From Mexico south, the expert believes most countries are in a good place to face commodity price sharp fluctuations because their external debt and financing needs are significantly lower than a decade ago.

via Latin America the best positioned to face commodity price collapses: S&P |