In September 2020, exports and imports of goods recorded nominal year-on-year growth rates of -0.4% and -9.9%, respectively (-1.9% and -10.4% in August 2020, in the same order). The emphasis was on the declines in imports of Fuels and lubricants (-39.4%) and Transport equipment (-19.9%), mainly Other transport equipment (mostly airplanes).
Excluding Fuels and lubricants, exports increased by 0.2% and imports decreased by 5.8% (-1.0% and -9.5%, in the same order, in August 2020).
The deficit on the balance of trade in goods decreased by EUR 643 million when compared to the same month of 2019, reaching EUR 1,088 million in September 2020. Excluding Fuels and lubricants, the trade balance stood at EUR -785 million, corresponding to a decrease of EUR 353 million in the trade deficit vis-à-vis September 2019.
In the 3rd quarter 2020, exports and imports of goods decreased by 3.3% and by 13.8% respectively, when compared to the 3rd quarter 2019 (-6.7% and -18.1% in the same order, in the quarter ended in August 2020).
This press release includes an analysis (see box) on the evolution of exports of Food and beverages, the only economic category that registered increases of exports in the period from January to September 2020.
Despite the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Portugal calls for the fullest possible collaboration from companies, households, and public bodies in responding to Statistics Portugal data requests. The quality of official statistics, particularly their ability to help identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, crucially depends on this collaboration, for which Statistics Portugal thanks in advance.