Figures revealed by the National Statistics Office show that foreign trade turnover in the first quarter of 2017 reached $2.76 billion, the highest amount for the first quarter in the past 5 years. Export revenue reached $1.3 billion, a 35% increase on a YoY basis, and also the highest first quarter earning ever, largely due to the fivefold increase in coal export earnings.
The $523-million trade surplus was also the highest ever in the first quarter of a year. Minerals export makes up the highest share in the export revenue. YoY data on the top five commodities is provided below.
Export of copper concentrate dropped to 366 million tons, or 11% YoY. Income from export was $380 million, a 21% decrease YoY. The share of copper concentrate in total exports was 29.2%, compared to 50% in the first quarter of 2015.
Coal export reached 8.1 million tons, up by 4.8 million YoY. Revenue rose by 5 times YoY to $541.3 million, having been $99 million in the corresponding period last year. The share of coal in total exports stood at 41.6%, highest in the past 4 years. This is the first time since mining started at Oyu Tolgoi when coal revenue has exceeded that of copper. The increase is directly linked to the rise in coal price. In March alone, coal export reached 3.3 million tons, earning $214 million.
Iron ore export reached 1.1 million tons, or an 11% YoY increase. Earning stood at $70.1million, $40 million more YoY.
Gold export shrank by 1.8 tons reaching 1.1 tons. Revenue fell to $43.7 million, 60% or $111 less YoY.
Oil export decreased by 17% to 1.8 billion barrels. However, revenue increased by around $20 million and reached $93.1 million. The share of oil in total exports was 7% compared to 7.6% in the same period in 2016. Export of these 5 products earned a total $1.1 billion and was 86.8% of total exports, 4% more than last year’s 82.8%.