Hungary records massive trade surplus again

Feb 02, 2015 12:00 AM

Due to a moderate downward revision of import figures, Hungary’s November trade surplus came in at EUR 12 million higher at EUR 843 million than what the preliminary data of the Central Statistical Office (KSH) showed. The second estimate is the second-highest monthly reading of the last few years, the stats office reported on Monday.

According to detailed November foreign trade data, Hungary’s exports grew by 3.1% yr/yr and imports rose 2.1% in Nov, which turned the export-import gap positive again (1.0%).

As you can see on the chart below, despite the massive trade surplus in November, the 12-month trailing figures do not indicate a meaningful rise in surplus.

The EUR 6,177 million trade surplus in January-November was EUR 153 m behind the base period’s balance therefore chances are high that if December turns out well the 2013 annual surplus will be exceeded.

The volume of machinery and transport equipment increased by 7.9% in exports and by 7.1% in imports compared to the first eleven months of 2013.

A dynamic growth continued to be recorded in the trade in road vehicles: exports were up by one-third and imports by one-fourth compared to the base period. Within this, passenger car exports and the imports of motor vehicle parts and accessories grew significantly, the trade with Germany being dominant in both commodity groups.

The trade in electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, having the highest proportion in imports, grew by approximately one-tenth in both directions of trade, largely due to the trade in electrically insulated wires and cables, also in connection with the manufacture of transport equipment.

There were similar rates of increases in the imports of power generating machinery and equipment (mainly engines and engine spare parts) and general industrial machinery and equipment (first of all various pumps).

The dynamics in the drop of the trade in telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment moderated in November due to the lower base, although it was some one-fifth lower in both directions of trade regarding the period as a whole compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

The export and import volumes of manufactured goods were 6.8% and 9.1% higher, respectively, compared to January-November 2013.

In relation with vehicle industry, the exports of professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus, furthermore, the imports of rubber manufactures, manufactures of metals, non-metallic mineral manufactures and leather, leather manufactures and dressed furskins, having a lower proportion, grew by more than one-tenth.

The trade in essential oils, perfume materials and cleaning preparations - within which mostly mixtures of odoriferous substances - increased dynamically in both directions.

The intensifying trade in medicinal and pharmaceutical products - partly due to new distribution centres - reached a rate of increase equal to the average of this main commodity group by the end of the period.

The import volume of fuels and electric energy - along with decreasing HUF prices - was 12% more than in 2013. The volume of imports of petroleum, petroleum products and related materials, representing some half of our energy imports, was already over 5% higher by the end of the period than one year earlier. In November, the imports of gas did not reach the level in the same period of the previous year, and even thus, regarding the period as a whole, the volume of imports of natural and manufactured gas was over one-fifth higher than in the corresponding period of 2013. The import volume of electric current grew by over one tenth.

The export and import volumes of food, beverages and tobacco were up by 2.9% and 5.3%, respectively, compared to January-November 2013. The exports of cereals and cereal preparations - mainly due to falling wheat exports - were significantly lower in the past three months than in the base months, and were slightly higher regarding the period as a whole. The exports of feeding stuff for animals, the imports of coffee, tea, cocoa and spices, and both the exports and imports of miscellaneous edible products and preparations - first of all dietary supplements, raw materials and food additives - grew dynamically.

In January-November 2014 the share of European Union Member States was 79% in exports and 75% in imports. In the trade with these countries, export and import volumes were 8.4% and 12% higher, respectively, than in the same period of 2013. The surplus was EUR 7.5 billion (HUF 2,317 billion), EUR 1,352 million less year on year.

In extra-EU trade the volume of exports rose by 0.9% and that of imports decreased by 2.3% compared to January-November 2013. The deficit on the balance of trade with this group of countries was EUR 1.3 billion, EUR 1,199 million less than one year earlier.

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