Exports rose 3.6 percent year-on-year to USD 31.49 billion, following an upwardly revised 14.1 percent in March and marking the sixth straight annual gain. Non-oil sales, which account for 95 percent of total exports increased 2.6 percent while oil sales jumped 26.9 percent.
Exports of manufactured products advanced 1.9 percent, boosted by sales of food, beverages and tobacco (8.4 percent); equipment and electric and electronic apparatus (7.6 percent); special machinery and equipment for industries (5.2 percent) and automotive products (1.5 percent). Also, sales of agricultural and fisheries rose 5 percent, mainly those of fresh strawberries (78.9 percent), citrus (58.8 percent), avocados (52.2 percent) and fresh vegetables (34.4 percent). Meantime, shipments of mining products jumped 49.9 percent, compared to a 3.9 percent drop in March.
Exports to the United States grew 2.4 percent, accounting for more than 80 percent of total non-oil shipments. Auto sales rose 4.2 percent, accounting for more than 27 percent, while exports of other products went up 1.5 percent. Sales to the rest of the world rose 3.5 percent, with other products increasing by 10.1 percent while autos declined 15.9 percent.
Imports shrank 5 percent to 30.87 billion, following a 15 percent rise in the previous month and marking the first decline after five straight months of increases. Purchases of consumption goods went down 3.7 percent and those of intermediate goods and capital goods also decreased 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports dropped 2.55 percent to USD 32.78 billion, led by a 2.72 percent fall in non-oil sales while oil shipments went up 0.51 percent. Imports also decreased 5.71 percent to USD 33.06 billion, narrowing the trade deficit to USD 297 million.