Year-on-year, exports jumped 12 percent to USD 37,806 million in September 2018, with non-oil sales, which represented around 92.7 percent of total exports, increasing 10 percent to USD 35,031 million. Sales went up for machinery and special equipment for diverse industries (19.1 percent); automotive products (17.8 percent); steel products (17.8 percent) and plastic and rubber goods (11.6 percent). Additionally, sales of agricultural and fishing goods rose 1.0 percent, namely fish, crustaceans and mollusks (66.7 percent), cattle (41.3 percent) and fresh vegetables (30 percent).
Oil exports surged 43.8 percent to USD 2,775 million in September. The country exported 1,206 million barrels of oil a day, higher than the 1,159 million recorded in the corresponding month of 2017. Crude oil prices rose to USD 68.44 a barrel, USD 20.14 more than in September last year.
Non-oil shipments to the US, which accounted for more than 80 percent of total sales, increased 9.8 percent, driven by autos (16.9 percent) and other products (5.9 percent). Sales to the rest of the world went up 11.2 percent, as exports of both autos (22.2 percent) and other products (6.2 percent) rose.
Imports advanced 6.4 percent to USD 37,999 million, as non-oil (5.1 percent) and oil purchases (18 percent) increased. Non-oil imports were boosted by intermediate goods (7 percent), consumer goods (1.8 percent) and capital goods (9.1 percent).
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the trade gap declined to USD 460 million from USD 1,172 million, as exports went up 0.9 percent to USD 38,939 million and imports fell 0.9 percent to USD 39,399 million.