Budapest, December 10 (MTI) – Hungary’s trade surplus came to 603.3 million euros in October, a first reading of data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Thursday show.
The surplus was up by 320.1 million euros from the same month a year earlier. Exports climbed by 8.4 percent in 12 months to 8.140 billion euros in October and imports rose by 4.3 percent to 7.537 billion euros.
In January-October, the trade surplus came to 6.765 billion euros, up by 1.445 billion euros from the same period last year. Exports rose by 7.4 percent to 75.796 billion euros and imports increased by 5.8 percent to 69.031 billion euros.
A total of 76 percent of Hungary’s imports came from other European Union countries in October and 80 percent of exports went to EU member states.
An economy ministry official told public television channel M1 that Hungary’s total 2015 foreign trade surplus could be in the range of 7.5 billion to 8 billion euros, an all-time high. Deputy State Secretary Istvan Marczinko said exports were driven mainly by the food, pharmaceuticals, rubber, plastics and auto production branches of the manufacturing sector.
David Nemeth, an analyst of K and H Bank, said the trade surplus could grow to 7.5 billion euros this year compared to 6.4 billion euros in 2014. He attributed the increase in export growth to a rising global demand for cars, but said the slowdown of import growth was a surprise.
Andras Balatoni of ING Bank also said the full-year surplus could reach and even exceed 7.5 billion euros. He attributed the trade surplus growth to vehicle manufacturing exports on the one hand, and the improved terms of trade for Hungary on the other hand.
Gergely Suppan of Takarekbank said the trade surplus could grow further in the remaining part of the year due to low oil prices, adding that he expected the annual surplus to be around 7.9 billion euros.