Year-on-year, exports jumped 12.6 percent to USD 41,352 million in October 2018, with non-oil sales, which represented around 93.5 percent of total exports, increasing by 12.3 percent to USD 36,667 million. Sales went up for machinery and special equipment for diverse industries (31.1 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (20 percent); automotive products (14.5 percent) and professional and scientific equipment (11.1 percent). On the other hand, sales of agricultural and fishing goods declined 1.7 percent, namely avocado (-41.7 percent); coffee in grain (-38.9 percent); frozen shrimp (-32.4 percent); melon, watermelon and papaya (-23 percent) and onion and garlic (-15.2 percent).
Oil exports surged 17.8 percent to USD 2,685 million in October. The country exported 1,027 million barrels of oil a day, lower than the 1,342 million recorded in the corresponding month of 2017. Crude oil prices rose to USD 73.36 a barrel, USD 23.93 more than in October last year.
Non-oil shipments to the US increased 13.8 percent, driven by autos (16.8 percent) and other products (12.3 percent). Sales to the rest of the world went up 5.6 percent, as exports of both autos (3.8 percent) and other products (6.5 percent) rose.
Imports climbed 13.7 percent from a year earlier to USD 44,288 million, as non-oil (12 percent) and oil purchases (27.8 percent) increased. Non-oil purchases were boosted by intermediate goods (13.1 percent); consumer goods (13.2 percent) and capital goods (18.6 percent).
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the trade gap widened to USD 1,526 million from USD 643.7 million in September, as imports went up 0.33 percent to USD 38,004 million while exports fell 1.94 percent to USD 39,530 million.