In March, exports declined by 13.51 percent year-on-year to USD11.79 billion, following a 7.18 percent decrease in February. It is the 18th straight month of decline, as sales of non-oil and gas products dropped by 9.29 percent to USD10.57 billion and those of oil and gas dropped by 38.20 percent to USD1.23 billion.
Imports dropped by 10.41 percent year-on-year to USD11.30 billion, following a 11.71 percent decline in a month earlier. It is also the 18th consecutive month of fall. Purchases of non-oil and gas products fell by 5.56 percent to USD9.77 billion and those of oil and gas decreased by 32.54 percent to USD1.53 billion.
Compared to the previous month, exports increased by 4.25 percent. Oil exports rose 10.40 percent and sales of non-oil and gas products was up by 3.58 percent. By categories, sales went up for: mineral fuels (+10.10 percent), machine/electrical equipment (+8.0 percent), vehicles and parts (+21.01 percent), chemicals (+29.84 percent) and iron and steel (+88.57 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments declined for: animal/vegetable fats and oils (-4.82 percent); pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (-23.28 percent), iron and steel articles (-32.15 percent), ships (-19.05 percent) and tins (-43.60 percent).
Outbound shipments rose to the ASEAN countries (+5.77 percent to USD2.36 billion), followed by China (+6.98 percent to USD1.1 billion), the US (+9.22 percent to USD1.25 billion), India (+19.59 percent to USD790.4 million), South Korea (+4.78 percent to USD426.5 percent) and Taiwan (+5.78 percent to USD238.2 million). In contrast, exports fell to Japan (-3.84 percent to USD1.1 billion and Australia (-24.13 percent to USD209.0 million).
Compared to a month earlier, imports rose 11.01 percent. Purchases of oil and gas increased by 36.25 percent and those of non-oil and gas was up 7.88 percent. Imports were down for capital goods (-5.51 percent to USD1.70 billion) and consumption goods(-2.77 percent to USD977.4 million). In contrast, purchases of raw materials rose 16.90 percent to USD8.63 billion.
In February 2016, the country posted a USD1,140 million trade surplus.