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Gain in exports attributed to energy products

The main contributors to the gain in exports in June were energy products, followed by industrial goods and materials. These increases were partially offset by lower exports of machinery and equipment and automotive products.

Exports of energy products rose 14.0% to $6.4 billion in June. The increase was the result of a 5.1% increase in prices and an 8.4% rise in volumes.

Exports of crude petroleum rose 22.3%, reflecting increased demand from the United States. Crude petroleum accounted for 87% of the gain in energy products. On the other hand, natural gas exports declined 1.2%, continuing a downward trend that started in August 2008.

Higher exports of gold were behind the growth in the industrial goods and materials sector, which increased 6.1% to $6.3 billion. Declines in exports of metal ores, in particular nickel and iron ores, moderated the increase in this sector. The gain in the industrial goods and materials sector was mainly the result of a 4.4% increase in prices.

Exports of machinery and equipment decreased 4.1% to $6.4 billion, the lowest level since January 1998. This was mainly the result of declines in exports of telecommunication equipment and office electronic equipment.

Exports of automotive products fell 5.6% to $2.9 billion. This represents about one-third of the peak value registered in January 2000. Exports of trucks and motor vehicle parts declined 35.3% and 9.7% respectively, as demand continued to fall. On the other hand, exports of passenger autos increased 3.2%.

Three of seven import sectors decline

Imports of machinery and equipment fell 6.0% to $8.5 billion as a result of widespread declines. Aircraft, engines and parts, as well as engines, turbines and motors were among the contributors to the decrease. The sector has been on a downward trend since November 2008.

Imports of industrial goods and materials decreased 4.3% to $5.8 billion. Lower imports of chemical products were the main contributors to the decline. In contrast, precious metals, namely gold, grew 8.6%. The industrial goods and materials sector has generally been on a downward trend since October 2008.

Imports of other consumer goods were down 1.6% to $4.7 billion mainly the result of declining imports of footwear, apparel and house furnishing.

Higher imports of energy products as well as agricultural and fishing products mitigated the decline in overall imports. Imports of energy products grew 14.7% to $2.7 billion on the strength of crude petroleum. The increase in energy products was due to volumes rising 11.2% and prices increasing 3.2%. Imports of agricultural and fishing products were up 4.6% led by higher imports of wine and beer.