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Crude petroleum and aircraft lead the growth in imports

Imports of machinery and equipment climbed 10.9% to $9.3 billion, the result of an increase in volume. Although the increases were widespread, higher imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment were responsible for almost half of the gain in this sector.

After reaching the lowest levels in more than a decade in May and June, imports of automotive products increased 18.7% to $4.6 billion in July. Although imports increased, they remained 32.7% lower than in July 2008. All components in the automotive sector posted gains in imports.

Imports of energy products rose 18.6% to $3.2 billion as volumes increased 14.9% and prices grew 3.2%. Imports of crude petroleum led the gain in this sector. Volumes of crude petroleum, up 24.0%, have generally been trending upward since February 2009.

Machinery and equipment account for almost three-quarters of the gain in exports

Exports of machinery and equipment rose 11.3% to $7.1 billion, largely the result of higher exports of aircraft followed by telecommunication equipment. The gain was entirely due to an increase in volumes as prices declined.

Automotive sector exports rose 10.8% to $3.2 billion. This value represented about one-third of the peak value registered in January 2000 and remained 39.5% below the July 2008 value. The gain was mainly due to increases in exports of motor vehicle parts. Exports of passenger autos and trucks also went up in July.

Exports of energy products declined 3.2% to $6.4 billion, the result of prices decreasing as volumes rose. Exports of crude petroleum, down 8.9%, were largely responsible for the decline in this sector while higher exports of natural gas mitigated the decline.