In August of 2013, exports amounted to 4.98 billion USD, up from 4.65 billion USD in July, and 4.57 billion USD a year ago. On an annual basis, exports rose 8.9 percent, mainly due to the 28 percent increase in sales of fuels and mining products. Particularly, the growth is explained by higher oil and petroleum sales (26 percent). In contrast, manufacturing shipments declined 17.4 percent (from 2.1 percent drop in July), while exports of agricultural products, food and beverages went down by 4.6 percent (from 11.2 contraction in the previous month), mainly due to the fall in sales of banana and live cattle. Sharp drop was reported in sales of non-monetary gold.
Purchases amounted to 4.97 billion USD, down from 5.11 billion USD in the previous month, and 5.24 billion USD a year earlier. The decline is mainly explained by the 5.8 percent contraction in imports of manufactured products, particularly by the 29 percent fall in iron and steel imports and 13.6 percent drop in purchases of road vehicles. Purchases of agricultural products, food and beverages reported a sharp drop as well. In contrast, imports of fuels and mining products went up by 10.6 percent, due to the 17.2 percent increase on purchases of gas oils.