When adjusted for the working day average, imports jumped 16.9 percent year-on-year to USD 13.81 billion, driven by purchases of: intermediate goods (12.2 percent); consumption goods (16.4 percent); fuels and lubricants (46.5 percent) and capital goods (20.5 percent). Among major import partners, purchases rose from the EU (20.6 percent share, imports up 7.8 percent); China (19.1 percent share and a 34.8 percent increase in imports) and the US (17.3 percent share and a 18.1 percent rise in purchases).
Exports advanced at a slower 9.6 percent to USD 20.09 billion, underpinned by sales of basic products (49.3 percent share) which grew 8.4 percent. Within this category, shipments rose mostly for: soy beans (6.4 percent); crude oil (41.7 percent); chicken meat (2.9 percent); soybean meal (27.9 percent); beef (31.3 percent); copper (22.6 percent) and tobacco leaf (127.2 percent). Also, manufactured products, which accounted for 35.6 percent of total sales, grew 8.3 percent, namely: fuel oils (149.7 percent); aircraft (39.3 percent); cargo vehicles (28.9 percent); earth-moving machinery (51.1 percent); aluminium oxide (7.1 percent); autoparts (25.7 percent) and engines for vehicles and parts (27.8 percent).
Among major export partners, shipments increased to the EU (42.1 percent share, sales up 20.6 percent); China (23.2 percent share, shipments rising 5.8 percent) and to the US (11.6 percent share, sales up 8.9 percent).
Considering the first quarter of 2018, imports climbed 15.8 percent to USD 36.05 billion while exports increased at a slower 11.3 percent to USD 54.37 billion, thus shrinking the trade surplus by 3.1 percent to USD 13.95 billion.