When adjusted for working days, exports rose 14.9 percent in March from February, boosted by soybean sales. Imports fell 9.5 percent due to lower purchases of fuels and lubricants, raw materials, consumption and capital goods.
Year-on-year, shipments fell 3.68 percent to USD 16.98 billion in March, following a 24.1 percent drop in the previous month. Sales of iron ore contracted 49.9 percent due to falling prices while exports of soybeans (-39.3 percent), crude oil (-24.8 percent), beef (-23.7 percent), poultry (-17.7 percent) and maize grain (-6.4 percent) also fell. In addition, exports of manufactured products went down 6.1 percent on the year. In contrast, sales rose for tobacco leaves (+68.3 percent), soybean meal (+29.8 percent), copper (+20.5 percent) and coffee beans (+9.7 percent).
Meanwhile, imports shrank 5.69 percent on the year to USD 16.5 billion.
In the first quarter of 2015, the country's exports shrank 13.7 percent year-on-year while imports fell at a slightly slower 13.2 percent. As a result, the trade gap narrowed to USD 5557 million compared with a USD 6078 million deficit in the same period of 2014.