Exports rose 14.1 percent year-on-year to USD 35.93 billion, following a 8 percent rise in February and marking the fifth straight annual gain. Non-oil sales which account for 95.2 percent of total exports increased 13.2 percent while non-oil sales jumped 34.7 percent.
Exports of manufactured products advanced 13.9 percent, boosted by sales of steel products (27.3 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (22 percent); autos (18.7 percent); electrical and electronic equipment (17.3 percent) and special machinery and equipment for industries (11.6 percent). Also, shipments of agricultural and fishery grew 4.2 percent, mainly citrus (78.5 percent), avocados (50.2 percent), fruits and edible fruits (42 percent) and vegetables and fresh vegetables (7.3 percent).
Exports to the United States grew 11.8 percent, accounting for more than 80 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales rose 17.7 percent, accounting for more than 27 percent , while exports of other products increased 9 percent. Sales to the rest of the world rose 20 percent, with autos increasing by 24.5 percent and other products going up by 18.4 percent.
Imports picked up 15 percent to USD 36.11 billion, following a 2.8 percent increase in the previous month and also marking the fifth consecutive yearly rise. Purchases of consumption goods advanced 19.2 percent and those of intermediate goods and capital goods rose 14.8 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports advanced 0.10 percent to USD 33.66 billion, led by a 0.78 percent increase in non-oil sales while oil shipments fell 10.29 percent. Imports went up 2.81 percent to USD 35.06 billion, widening the trade deficit to USD 1.410 billion.