Year-on-year, sales dropped by 9.75 percent, following a 12.5 percent decline in April and market expectations of a 7.9 percent drop. It was the 20th straight month of fall, as sales of non-oil and gas products dropped by 7.12 percent to USD10.55 billion and those of oil and gas dropped by 31.22 percent to USD957.9 million.
Imports decreased by 4.12 percent, compared to a 14.62 percent fall in April and market consensus of a 5.92 percent. It is also the 20th consecutive month of decline. Purchases of non-oil and gas products fell by 0.70 percent to USD9.47 billion and those of oil and gas decreased by 19.80 percent to USD1.67 billion.
Compared to the previous month, exports were up by 0.31 percent. Oil exports rose 7.42 percent and sales of non-oil and gas products declined sby 0.29 percent. By categories, sales rose for: pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (+10.99 percent); ores, crust, metal ash (+38.16 percent), iron and steel articles (+62.59 percent), ships (+68.63 percent) and fertilizer (+395.95 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments declined for: animal/vegetable fats and oils (-3.38 percent), machine/electrical equipments (-4.34 percent), machine/mechanical equipment (-17.56 percent), various chemical products (-9.6 percent) and tins (-41.24 percent).
Sales were up to the EU countries (+1.17 percent to USD1.19 billion), Japan (+5.21 percent to USD1.00 billion), Australia (+62.03 percent to USD280.2 million) and South Korea (+1.30 percent to USD427.6 million). In contrast, export fell to the ASEAN countries (-1.37 percent to USD2.30 billion), followed by China (-6.18 percent to USD982.9 million), the US (-4.68 percent to USD1.28 billion), India (-9.06 percent to USD726.7 million) and Taiwan (-2.65 percent to USD212.4 million).
Compared to a month earlier, imports went up 2.98 percent. Purchases of oil and gas increased by 22.50 percent and those of non-oil and gas was up 0.16 percent. Imports rose for consumption goods(+15.37 percent to USD998.5 million) and raw materials (+3.86 percent to USD8.50 billion). In contrast, purchases dropped by 7.14 percent to USD1.65 billion for capital goods.
In April 2016, trade surplus was downwardly revised to USD662.3 million.