In December, exports declined by a less-than-expected 17.66 percent year-on-year to USD11.89 billion, following a downwardly revised 17.95 percent drop in a month earlier. Sales of non-oil and gas products dropped by 13.71 percent to USD10.59 billion and those of oil and gas dropped by 40.06 percent to USD1.23 billion.
Imports also fell by a less-than-expected 16.02 percent year-on-year to USD12.12 billion, following an upwardly revised 17.95 percent decline in the preceding month. Purchases of non-oil and gas products fell by 6.53 percent to USD10.33 billion and those of oil and gas decreased by 46.95 percent to USD1.80 billion.
Compared to the previous month, exports increased by 6.98 percent. Oil exports dropped 13.20 percent and sales of non-oil and gas products rose 10.12 percent. By product, sales declined for: electric equipment/machinery (-1.98 percent to USD659.2 million), mechanical equipment (-4.47 percent to USD380.2 million), footwear (-5.26 percent to USD410.4 million), iron and steel articles (-28.98 percent to USD105.4 million) and processed food (-12.49 percent to USD66.8 million). In contrast, outbond shipments rose for: animal/vegetables fat and oils (+14.85 percent to USD1.62 billion); clothing/unknitted wear (+30.02 percent to USD388.4 million); ores, slag and ash (+366.61 percent to USD482.2 million); pulp (+64.93 percent to USD149.3 million) and tins (+128.40 percent to USD90.3 million).
While sales marginally declined to the ASEAN countries (-0.08 percent to USD2.10 billion), outbond shipments rose to most of the country's main trading partners. Those to China grew by 19.66 percent to USD1.23 billion, followed byJapan (+19.35 percent to USD1.18 billion), the US (+14.56 percent to USD1.32 billion), India (+2.61 percent to USD880.0 million), South Korea (+20.10 percent to USD436.7 million), the EU countries (+9.99 percent to USD1.23 billion) and Taiwan (+1.76 percent to USD217.4 million).
Compared to a month earlier, imports increased by 5.23 percent. Purchases of oil and gas rose 9.61 percent and those of non-oil and gas rose 4.50 percent. Imports were up for all categories: raw materials (+2.86 percent to USD8.77 billion ), consumption goods (+13.95 percent to USD1.10 billion) and capital goods (+ 11.05 percent to USD2.26 billion.
In November 2015, the country posted a downwardly revised USD0.41 bllion trade deficit.
For full year of 2015, exports dropped by 14.6 percent to USD150.25 billion while imports fell at a faster 19.9 percent to USD142.74 billion. That brought a USD7.52 billion trade surplus for the year, the first gain since 2011. In 2014, trade deficit stood at USD1.88 billion.