Exports rose 8 percent year-on-year to USD 31.27 billion, following an 11.4 percent rise in January and marking the fourth straight annual gain. Non-oil sales which account for 93.9 percent of total exports increased 5.5 percent while non-oil sales jumped 69 percent.
Exports of manufactured products increased 5.5 percent, driven by higher sales of food, drinks and tobacco (14.1 percent); professional and scientific equipment (13.4 percent); electrical and electronic equipment (10.3 percent); special machinery and equipment for industries (9.4 percent) and automotive products (4.9 percent). In contrast, shipments of agricultural and fishery fell 9.5 percent, mainly those of tomatoes (-44.6 percent); melon, watermelon and papaya (-31.2 percent); cucumber (-28 percent); pepper (-26.4 percent) and fish, crustaceans and mollusks (-25.3 percent).
Exports to the United States grew 3.9 percent, accounting for more than 80 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales were up 4.4 percent, accounting for more than 26 percent, while exports of other products increased 3.7 percent. Sales to the rest of the world rose 13.5 percent, with autos increasing by 8.3 percent and other products going up by 15.6 percent.
Imports rose 2.8 percent to USD 30.58 billion, following a 10 percent increase in the previous month and also making the fourth consecutive yearly rise. Purchases of consumption goods went up 6.1 percent and those of intermediate goods rose 3.2 percent. In contrast, capital goods imports declined 4.4 percent.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports advanced 3.06 percent to USD 33.6 billion, led by a 3.41 percent increase in non-oil sales while oil shipments fell 1.90 percent. Imports went up 1.98 percent to USD 34 billion, lowering the trade deficit to USD 0.398 billion.