The trade deficit in Sao Tome and Principe rose by 6.8 percent to USD 30.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 from USD 28.3 million in the same period of 2017. Imports surged 6.2 percent year-on-year to USD 34.3 million, boosted by purchases of petroleum products (51.8 percent) and consumer goods (2.4 percent). On the other hand, imports fell for capital goods (-12 percent) and others (-4.8 percent). Meantime, exports advanced at a slower 1.8 percent to USD 4.1 million, as higher sales of palm oil (40700%); chocolate (186.6%) and coffee (241.6%) were partly offset by lower shipments of coconut (-68.2 percent) and cocoa (-3.4 percent). Balance of Trade in Sao Tome and Principe averaged -20.40 USD Million from 1999 until 2018, reaching an all time high of -1.55 USD Million in the second quarter of 1999 and a record low of -40.65 USD Million in the third quarter of 2014.
Balance of Trade in Sao Tome and Principe is expected to be -31.04 USD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Sao Tome and Principe to stand at -29.51 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Sao Tome and Principe Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -30.01 USD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.