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Lower prices of energy products contribute to the overall decline in exports

Exports of energy products fell 8.9% to $9.9 billion in March, primarily the result of lower prices, down 8.0%. Exports of crude petroleum were solely responsible for the overall decrease, down 15.7%, due to a decrease in prices and volumes. Higher exports of petroleum and coal products, mainly diesel fuel, partially offset the decline in the sector.

Exports of industrial goods and materials increased 6.2% to $9.9 billion as a result of higher volumes and prices. Exports of precious metals and alloys, organic chemicals as well as copper ores, concentrates and scrap led the sector's gain, on the strength of volumes.

Exports of machinery and equipment grew 3.4% to $6.9 billion in March as volumes rose 3.0%. The main contributor to the increase were higher exports of other end products, primarily gold coins.

Exports of other consumer goods, mainly medicinal and pharmaceutical products, increased 11.6% to $1.4 billion, the result of higher volumes, up 11.2%.

Energy products leads the decline in imports

Imports of energy products fell 14.9% to $4.3 billion in March as volumes fell 13.9%. The decline was mostly the result of lower imports of petroleum and coal products, down 32.1%, after reaching a record high in February.

Imports of industrial goods and materials declined 4.0% to $8.1 billion, as prices fell 5.4%. Precious metals and alloys led the decrease, falling 15.9% as prices declined. Imports of metals in ores, concentrates and scrap also contributed to the sector's decline, due to lower volumes.

Imports of automotive products rose 4.7% to $6.5 billion as volumes and prices increased. Trucks and other motor vehicles, up 7.0%, reached a record high of $1.8 billion. Passenger autos and chassis and motor vehicle parts also recorded gains, up 4.5% and 3.3% respectively.

Imports of machinery and equipment increased 2.3% to $10.8 billion, as volumes increased 2.8%. The increase was led by higher imports of other machinery and equipment, primarily laboratory equipment, as well as industrial and agricultural machinery.