QUITO -- Ecuador posted a trade surplus of $102 million in May, according to central bank data.
This was the first month since August 2014 in which the trade balance had a surplus.
Exports fell 32.1% yoy, following a 50.1% yoy drop in oil exports, which accounted for 42% of Ecuador’s total exports.
Imports, on the other hand, fell 28.2% yoy.
Fuel imports accounted for 22% of total imports and contracted 32.1% yoy.
Meanwhile, non-oil imports shrunk 27.0% yoy, which was a likely result of the import tariffs implemented by the government in mid-March.
On a 12-month rolling basis, the trade deficit widened to $2.3 billion, or 2.2% of this year’s projected GDP, from 2.1% in April.
As a reference, the trade balance had a deficit of 0.1% of GDP in 2014.
Analysts think import tariffs will continue to drive imports lower and help offset part of the impact of lower oil prices on the current account.