US Trade Surplus Widens in March


The US trade deficit widened to USD 50.0 billion in March 2019 from an eight-month low of USD 49.3 billion in the previous month and compared to market expectations of USD 50.2 billion.

Exports from the US rose USD 2.1 billion from the previous month to USD 212.0 billion in March. Goods exports increased USD 2.0 billion to USD 141.7 billion, boosted by sales of industrial supplies and materials (up USD 1.7 billion), such as natural gas liquids, fuel oil, metallurgical grade coal, and other petroleum products. In addition, exports of foods, feeds, and beverages were up USD 0.8 billion, led by soybeans. By contrast, sales of civilian aircraft dropped USD 0.7 billion. Exports of services, including maintenance and repair services, and financial services, increased less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 70.3 billion in March.

On a non seasonally adjusted basis, goods exports rose to all major trade partners: China (23.6 percent); Japan (18.3 percent); Canada (13.3 percent); the EU (7.2 percent); Mexico (8.0 percent), Brazil (22.9 percent) and OPEC (25.3 percent).

Imports to the US increased USD 2.8 billion to USD 262.0 billion. Goods imports advanced USD 2.6 billion to USD 214.1 billion, led by industrial supplies and materials (up USD 2.4 billion), in particular crude oil, organic chemicals and other petroleum products. Also, food imports rose USD 1.0 billion to the highest on record. Consumer goods imports, however, fell USD 0.7 billion amid declines in purchases of cellphones and other household goods. Imports of services, including travel and maintenance and repair services, increased USD 0.2 billion to USD 47.8 billion in March.

On a non seasonally adjusted basis, goods imports rose from the EU (18.8 percent), Canada (19.2 percent), Japan (14.6 percent), Mexico (13.5 percent), Brazil (16.4 percent) and OPEC (8.2 percent). Imports from China slumped 6.1 percent.

The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China decreased to a five-year low of USD 20.7 billion in March from USD 24.8 billion in February. On the other hand, the trade deficit widened with the EU (USD 14.2 billion from USD 9.2 billion); Mexico (USD 9.5 billion from USD 7.4 billion); Canada (USD 1.4 billion from a surplus of USD 17 million); and Japan (USD 6.6 billion from USD 5.9 billion). Meanwhile, the trade surplus with OPEC increased to USD 1.1 billion from USD 0.4 billion in February.

US Trade Surplus Widens in March


US Census Bureau | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
5/9/2019 1:02:47 PM