The $523 million increase in imports was led by petroleum and products (crude oil and regular petrol), and mechanical machinery and equipment. Imported railway vehicles also contributed significantly.
The $313 million rise in exports was mainly due to meat and edible offal, crude oil, and milk powder, butter, and cheese, which all rose by similar amounts.
In August 2011, there was a trade deficit of $641 million (19 percent of the value of exports). The August month is normally in deficit, and this month’s result compares with an average deficit of 27 percent of exports for the previous five August months.
The trend for import values has been flat since March 2011. It had mostly been rising (up 21 percent) since its most recent low point in September 2009. The import trend is still 9.6 percent lower than its peak in September 2008.
The trend in export values has increased 26 percent since its most recent low point in October 2009, and continues to be near a record level.