Exports inched up 0.2 percent from a year earlier to USD 13.9 billion as sales of manufactured products, which accounted for 92.9 percent of total shipments, increased 1 percent. Meanwhile, exports of agriculture, hunting and forestry went down 10.5 percent, and those of mining and quarrying fell 9.2 percent. Among major trading partners, exports increased mainly to the UK (8.2 percent), Spain (0.9 percent), the Netherlands (9.6 percent), Israel (2.3 percent) and Belgium (23.3 percent). On the other hand, exports declined to Germany (-7.7 percent), Italy (-3.8 percent), Iraq (-7.6 percent), the US (-0.3 percent) and France (-5.4 percent).
Imports tumbled 28.3 percent to USD 16.6 billion. Purchases of intermediate goods accounted for 73.8 percent of total imports in December and dropped 24.8 percent from a year earlier. Additionally, imports fell for both capital (-34.9 percent) and consumption goods (-38.5 percent). Among major trading partners, imports dropped mainly from Russia (-5.2 percent), Germany (-21.5 percent), China (-39.1 percent), the US (-14.3 percent), Italy (-28 percent), India (-16.9 percent), France (-50.3 percent), the UK (-46.1 percent), South Korea (-42.4 percent) and Iran (-20.5 percent).
Considering 2018 full year, the trade gap narrowed 28.4 percent to USD 55.0 billion as exports rose 7 percent to USD 168.0 billion and imports dropped 4.6 percent to USD 223.0 billion.