Year-on-year, sales dropped slightly by 0.59 percent to USD 12.51 billion, following a 0.74 percent decline in August and market expecations of a 1.61 percent decrease. While sales of non-oil and gas products increased by 2.85 percent to USD 11.45 billion, those of oil and gas dropped by 26.97 percent to USD 1.06 billion.
Imports decreased by 2.26 percent to USD 11.56 billion, compared to a 0.49 percent fall in a month earlier and market consensus of a 3.76 percent increased. It was the 24th consecutive month of decline. Purchases of non-oil and gas product decreased 8.8 percent to USD 1.91 billion and those of oil and gas decreased by 0.95 percent to USD 9.65 billion.
Compared to the previous month, exports were down by 1.84 percent. Oil exports declined 6.78 percent and sales of non-oil and gas products dropped 1.35 percent. By categories, outbound shipments declined for pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (-25.49 percen) and machine/mechanical equipment (-9.38 percent). In contrast, sales rose for: fats/vegetable animal oils (+4.11 percent); ores, crust, metal ash (+94.3 ,percent) and tin (+68.05). Sales to most of the country's trading partners declined: the ASEAN countries (-3.74 percent), the EU countries (-0.40 percent), China (-0.73 percent), Japan (-5.73 percent) and South Korea (-7.61 percent). In contrast, sales rose to the US (+0.09 percent), India (+9.70 percent) and Taiwan (+15.45 percent).
Compared to a month earlier, imports decreased 8.78 percent. Purchases of oil and gas fell by 2.97 percent and those of non-oil and gas declined by 9.77 percent. Imports declined for all categories: consumption goods (-15.16 percent to USD 0.99 billion), raw materials (-7.24 percent to USD 8.48 billion), and capital goods (-11.98 percent to USD 1.82 billion).
In August 2016, trade surplus was upwardly revised to USD 0.38 billion.