Imports advanced 16.3 percent year-on-year to a new record-high of USD 38.97 billion in October of 2017, boosted by purchases of consumption goods (18 percent), namely oil products (40 percent); intermediate goods (17 percent) and capital goods (9.2 percent).
Exports increased at a softer 13.2 percent to USD 36.90 billion in October of 2017, underpinned by oil sales (16.5 percent). Non-oil sales, which accounted for around 94 percent of total exports, rose 13 percent. Within non-oil exports, sales of manufactured goods advanced 12.6 percent, namely those of autos (18.8 percent); food (15 percent); special machinery and equipment for industries (14.6 percent); professional and scientific equipment (12.8 percent) and electronic goods and electrical appliances (3.3 percent). Also, sales grew for agricultural and fisheries (24.2 percent), boosted by higher exports of avocados (78.9 percent); beef cattle (75 percent); frozen shrimp (52.6 percent); fresh vegetables (33.3 percent) and pepper (27.1 percent). Meantime, sales of mining products grew 10.5 percent.
Exports to the United States surged 11.1 percent, accounting for around 82 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales to the US increased 12.3 percent and exports of other products advanced 10.4 percent. Sales to the rest of the world jumped 22.2 percent, with autos climbing 61.3 percent and other products rising 9.8 percent.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports decreased 0.62 percent to USD 33.89 billion, dragged down by a 0.95 percent fall in non-oil shipments while oil sales went up 5.35 percent. Imports declined at a faster 1.11 percent to USD 35.43 billion, as non-oil purchases fell 2.12 percent while oil imports surged 8.09 percent, thus narrowing the trade deficit to USD 1537 million from USD 1725 million in September of 2017.