February trade surplus revised slightly upwards

Figures

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In February 2018, the volume of exports rose by 6.0% and imports by 5.5% compared to the same month of 2017, shows a second estimate of monthly data for the external trade in goods from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). The surplus came to EUR 841 million, EUR 75 mln more than in February 2017.

In February 2018, the value of exports amounted to EUR 8.54 bln, and that of imports to EUR 7.70 bln. The value of exports increased by 5.2%, and that of imports by 4.8% in euro terms compared to February 2017.  The surplus in trade grew by EUR 75 mln year-on-year. The trade balance was revised upwards slightly, by EUR 3 mln, from the value published in the first estimate on April 9.

According to calendar-adjusted figures, export and import volumes increased by 5.9% and 5.5%, respectively. The forint price level of the external trade in goods increased by 0.2% both in exports and imports. The terms of trade did not change. The forint exchange rate weakened by 1.0% against the euro and appreciated by 13% against the dollar, the KSH noted.

Calculated at prices in February 2017, the trade of machinery and transport equipment increased by 6.5% in exports, and by 4.9% in imports. Exports and imports of road vehicles grew slightly compared to the same month of the previous year.

The export volume of manufactured goods increased by 3.8%, and the import volume by 10%.

The import volume of fuels and electricity decreased by 16% compared to February 2017. Imports of petroleum, petroleum products and related materials were up by nearly one-fifth, while imports of natural and manufactured gas decreased by half. Imports of electricity fell by nearly 20%. 

The export volume of food, beverages and tobacco was up by 2.7%, while import volume grew by 10%. Exports of meat and meat products increased by one-quarter, while imports grew by nearly one-fifth; the increase in exports was mainly connected to the trade of poultry for human consumption, while in imports the trade of pork had an effect on growth.

Exports of beverages and tobacco increased by more than 40%, while imports were up by more than one-fifth. 

Surplus with EU continues to grow

The volume of exports to EU member states increased by 7.1%, while the volume of imports from these countries was 6.5% higher than in February 2017. The surplus in trade with the EU grew by EUR 46 mln, amounting to EUR 842 mln. The share of trade with these countries was 81% of exports and 79% of imports.

In extra-EU trade, the volume of exports grew by 0.9% and that of imports by 1.8%. The trade balance with this group of countries improved by EUR 29 mln, showing a slight deficit of EUR 0.9 mln.

In January–February 2018, the value of exports amounted to EUR 17.0 bln and that of imports to almost EUR 15.5 bln. The value of exports was up by 7.7% and that of imports by 6.9% compared to the first two months of 2017.  The surplus on the trade balance increased by EUR 210 mln and amounted to EUR 1.54 bln in January-February.

The forint price level of the external trade in goods decreased by 0.1% in exports and by 0.3% in imports compared to the first two months of the previous year. The terms of trade improved by 0.2%. The forint exchange rate depreciated by 0.6% against the euro and appreciated by 13% against the dollar in January-February 2018.

A first estimate of data for the external trade in goods in March 2018 will be published by the KSH on May 10.

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