Published on: 29 March 2021

Surplus on external trade in goods amounts to EUR 855 million in January, volume of exports decreases by 15% and that of imports by 17% compared to December

In January 2021, the volume of exports decreased by 3.1% and that of imports by 7.2% compared to the same period of the previous year. The surplus was EUR 855 million, the balance improving by EUR 443 million compared to January 2020. Compared to December, the seasonally and working-day-adjusted volume of exports grew by 3.0%, while that of imports lessened by 1.8%.

In January 2021:

The value of exports amounted to EUR 8.8 billion (HUF 3,157 billion) and that of imports to EUR 7.9 billion (HUF 2,851 billion).

In January 2021 compared to a year earlier:

The value of exports decreased by 5.2% and that of imports by 10% in EUR terms.

According to calendar-adjusted data, the volume of exports became 1.5% larger and that of imports 2.4% smaller.

The balance of external trade in goods improved by EUR 443 million. (The surplus was EUR 25 million larger than that published in the first estimate.)

The forint (HUF) price level of external trade in goods rose by 4.2% in imports and by 5.5% in exports compared to the same month of the previous year. The terms of trade improved by 1.2%. The forint exchange rate weakened by 7.4% against the euro and strengthened by 2.1% against the dollar.

Calculated at prices in January 2020, the exports of machinery and transport equipment lessened by 5.3% and their imports by 5.6%. The exports of road vehicles were nearly one-fourth and their imports nearly one-fifth lower than in the corresponding period of the previous year. The exports of power-generating machinery and equipment went down by nearly one-seventh and their imports decreased slightly. The decline on the import side of the main group of commodities was largely offset by a growth in the import sales of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment, for these imports were more than one-tenth higher than in January 2020. The moderate decrease on the export side was due to a positive change in the exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s., which exports expanded by one-tenth. This main group of commodities contributed to the change in the volume of total exports by 2.9 percentage points in case of exports and by 2.8 percentage points in case of imports.

The export volume of manufactured goods became 1.8% higher and their import volume 5.4% lower. The changes on both sides of trade were dominantly due to trade in medical and pharmaceutical products, and the reduction on the import side was due in addition to trade in plastics in primary forms. Manufactured goods were the only main commodity group that lowered the decrease of total exports (by 0.6 percentage point), however, they increased the rate of decline in imports by 2.0 percentage points.

The export volume of fuels and electric energy became 3.4% and their import volume 29% lower than in the same period of the previous year. The decrease in the volume of both exports and imports can be explained by changes in trade in petroleum, petroleum products and related materials, while the decrease of imports was also due to the reduction of trade in natural and manufactured gas, and that of exports to the decrease of trade in electric current. Fuels and electric energy increased the rate of decline of total imports by 1.6 percentage points.

The volume of exports of food, beverages and tobacco declined by 5.1% and the volume of their imports by 9.9%. This was due on both sides of trade to changes in trade in meat and meat preparations, and the decrease of imports, in addition, to the fall of trade in vegetables and fruits as well as cereals and cereals preparations. The decrease in volume realised by the latter main commodity group contributed to the lessening of the total trade by 0.4 percentage point in exports and by 0.6 percentage point in imports.

The volume of exports to EU-27 Member States became 4.1% and the volume of imports from there 9.7% lower. The surplus on external trade in goods rose by EUR 331 million and amounted to EUR 1.2 billion. These countries accounted for 78% of exports and 71% of imports.

In extra-EU-27 trade, the volume of exports became 0.2% higher and that of imports 0.7% lower. The balance of external trade in goods with this group of countries improved by EUR 111 million and showed a deficit of EUR 362 million.

External trade in goods, January 2021

Denomination Exports Imports Balance
value, at current prices same period of previous year=100.0% value, at current prices same period of previous year=100.0% value, at current prices in same period of previous year
Billion HUF3 157102.22 85196.7306140
Million EUR8 77494.87 91989.5855412