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January trade surplus revised downwards

In January 2020, the surplus on external trade in goods was EUR 423 million (revised downwards from EUR 433 mln), with the balance improving by EUR 39 mln compared to January 2019, according to a second reading of data by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

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The volume of exports was up by 3.2% and that of imports by 4.2% compared to the same period of the previous year. According to calendar-adjusted data, the export volume increased by 4.1% and the import volume by 4%. 

The value of exports amounted to EUR 9.2 bln and that of imports to EUR 8.8 bln. The export value was up by 2.8% and the import value by 2.4% in EUR terms.

The forint price level of goods imports increased by 2.2% and that of goods exports by 3.7% compared to the same month of the previous year. The terms of trade improved by 1.5%. The forint exchange rate weakened by 4.5% against the euro and by 7.5% against the dollar.

The volume of exports of machinery and transport equipment rose by 6.6% and the volume of their imports by 4.5%. The imports of road vehicles went up by nearly one-tenth, their exports were unchanged compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The growth on the import side was consistent with changes in trade in passenger cars and parts of motor vehicles.

The exports of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment rose by more than one-sixth and their imports by nearly one-sixth. The increase in both imports and exports resulted from changes in trade in line telephone sets and telegraphic apparatus, video telephones, and their parts, and in exports, in addition, from changes in trade in TV sets and reception apparatus for radio-broadcasting.

The exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s., were up by more than one-tenth, their imports slightly. The growth in both exports and imports was connected to trade in insulated electric wires and cables, in exports, in addition, to trade in electric accumulators and their parts and electric transformers and their parts and in imports to trade in electronic integrated circuits.

Both the exports and imports of power generating machinery and equipment rose by nearly one-tenth compared to the corresponding period last year. The increase on both sides was due to changes in trade in spark-ignition internal combustion engines, and in exports, in addition, to changes in trade in diesel engines and electric motors and generators and in imports to changes in trade in parts of internal combustion engines.

The export volume of manufactured goods was up by 1.2% and their imports by 5.2%.

The export volume of fuels and electric energy fell by 28%, while their import volume increased by 0.3%. The reduction on the export side can be explained by changes in trade in natural and manufactured gas as well as electricity.

The volume of exports of food, beverages and tobacco grew by 4.4% and the volume of their imports by 4.2%. One of the main factors of the increase on both sides was changes in trade in meat and meat preparations, in imports, in addition, changes in trade in vegetables and fruits, and in exports changes in trade in cereals and cereal preparations, KSH argues.

The volume of exports to EU member states increased by 2.4% and that of imports from there by 6.4%. The surplus on external trade in goods went down by EUR 189 mln and amounted to EUR 1.023 bln. These countries accounted for 81% of exports and 73% of imports.

In extra-EU trade, the volume of exports was up by 6.2%, while that of imports decreased by 1.7%. The balance of external trade in goods with this group of countries improved by EUR 228 mln and showed a deficit of EUR 600 mln.