In light of Q1 2014 data, the value of exports to international markets totalled EUR 20.8bn in the observed period. Foreign buyers purchased mainly products of the vehicle manufacturing, machinery manufacturing and food industry.

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported that the value of imports totalled EUR 18.9bn in the initial three months of 2014, thus Hungary’s foreign trade balance continued to be in the green, posting a surplus of EUR 1.9bn.

As an open economy, the position of foreign trade and services export significantly influences Hungary’s economic outlook, therefore steady export and foreign trade surplus growth are crucial factors, Deputy State Secretary for External Economic Regulation Antal Nikoletti said.

In comparison to Q1 2013, exports and imports were up by 5.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, thus trade surplus increased by EUR 299 million.In addition to quarterly statistics, KSH has also published data for the month of March. In the third month of 2014, the value of exports and imports was EUR 7.3bn and EUR 6.7bn, resulting in a surplus of EUR 688 million.

The member states of the European Union are Hungary’s main trade partners. In the first quarter, 80 percent of total Hungarian exports headed to the EU, while 75 percent of imports originated from these countries.

Germany continues to be the number one trade partner for Hungary: in the initial three months of the year, the share of Hungarian exports to and imports from Germany was 28.6 percent (EUR 5.9bn) and 26 percent (EUR 4.9bn) of total, respectively. Trade with Germany generated a surplus of EUR 1.04bn in the observed period.

Outside Europe, Hungary purchased the majority of goods from Russia and China, while the volume of Hungarian exports is the largest to the United States (EUR 596 million), Russia (EUR 564.5 million) and Ukraine (EUR 411.1 million).

Machinery manufacturers had a great start in the new year, as the product group of machinery and equipment provided the 53.9 percent of exports and 45.1 percent of imports, while it added EUR 2.7bn to trade balance. Exports and imports in the observed group were up by 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. The main driver behind the dynamic trade volume growth was primarily the excellent performance of the vehicle manufacturing sector; exports and imports of the road vehicle manufacturing division  soared by 49.1 percent and 37.7 percent, respectively.

While the main commodity group of food, beverages and tobacco products is a key factor for exports, fuel and electricity have a large share within imports.