Imports jumped by 19.7 percent from the previous year to USD 18.94 billion in February, driven by higher purchases of intermediate goods (up 23.2 percent), capital goods (up 9.6 percent), and consumption goods (up 9.7 percent). Among major trading partners, imports grew from China (13.4 percent), Russia (38.9 percent), Germany (15.6 percent), France (14 percent), Italy (20.7 percent), the US (18.9 percent) and the UK (103.2 percent).
Exports rose at a slower 9 percent to USD 13.18 billion, boosted by higher sales of manufacturing (up 8.7 percent), agriculture and forestry (12.1 percent) and mining and quarrying (up 11.6 percent). Among major trading partners, exports rose to Germany (21.8 percent), Italy (27.1 percent), the UK (20.1 percent), the US (11.2 percent), France (18.4 percent) and Spain (29.4 percent), but fell to Iraq (-13.5 percent).
In the first two months of the year, the trade deficit widened by 83.7 percent to USD 14.84 billion from USD 8.08 billion in the same period of 2017, as imports rose 28.8 percent to USD 40.46 billion and exports increased 9.8 percent to USD 25.62 billion.