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Hungary posts foreign trade surplus of €177 mln in September - extended

Hungary posted a €176.7 million trade surplus in September, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said in a second reading on Thursday.


September exports were worth €6.761 billion, and imports came to €6.584 billion. In euro terms, September exports rose 9.8% and imports rose 11.3% from a the same month a year earlier. In volume terms, exports were up 4.3% and imports rose 4.5% after falling 6.8% and 8.1%, respectively, in August.

The trade balance again had a surplus after running deficits for two months in a row. The September trade surplus follows a €76 million deficit in August and compares to a € 243 million surplus in the same month last year.

Twelve-month export and import growth slowed to single-digit figures in May, when exports rose 5.4% and imports were up 5.1%. Growth picked up in June and July but, in a change to the previous trend, import growth exceeded export growth in both months. In August, both exports and imports fell in euro terms, by 0.9% and 2.6%, respectively, in the first year-on-year drop since February 2003.

Exports of vehicles rose 4% yr/yr in September mainly because of more deliveries to Germany growing from a low base, KSH said. Exports of telecommunications equipment, however, fell 4%, continuing a decline started in June. Fuels and electricity import volume was down 4% yr/yr in September as imports of crude oil and oil products fell 23% but gas imports rose 28% after dropping in August.

In January-September, Hungary ran a trade surplus of  € 82.6 million, compared to a deficit of HUF 214.6 million in the same period a year earlier. January-September exports rose 11.2% yr/yr to €56.188 billion from the same period a year earlier. Imports were up 10.6% at €56.105 billion. In volume terms exports rose 7.8% and imports were up 8.3%. Machinery export volume rose 8.4%, exports of other manufactured goods increased 7.8% while food exports fell 3.6%. Import volume of energy products rose 11.1%, machinery imports were up 9.7% and food imports increased 6.2%.

Export prices in forint terms fell 0.5% yr/yr in January-September, while import prices rose 0.9%, resulting in a 1.4% deterioration in terms of trade. Export prices for machinery fell 4.6%, prices for other manufactured goods rose a slight 0.8% and food export prices climbed 14.9%. The import price increase was still driven by a 31.2% hike in energy prices while food import prices rose 10.1% and machinery import prices fell 5.2% in forint terms.

Compared to January-September the forint strengthened 1% to the euro and gained 13% against the dollar resulting in an average 3% firming. (MTI-Eco)