The merchandise trade deficit narrowed to EUR102.2m in August from EUR155.3m a year ago, data of the stat office showed on Thursday. Imports fell by 3.7% y/y, after increasing by 11.4% y/y, when it was likely boosted by some one-off purchases. Imports of crude oil contracted by 12.9% y/y, affected by lower oil prices. Meanwhile, imports of organic chemicals and land vehicles went down by 32.1% y/y and 6.3% y/y, respectively. On the export side, total exports dropped by 1.8% y/y due to 27.6% y/y decline of petroleum exports and 19.4% y/y fall of tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes with the latter likely been hit by the tangible cut of excise duties by Estonia and Latvia.
As far as the cumulative figures are concerned, the merchandise trade deficit widened by 2.6% y/y in Jan-Aug as imports expanded by 5.2% y/y, underpinned by further expansion of investments and household consumption. Meanwhile, exports rose by 5.5% y/y as they were boosted by some Brexit related stockpiling and the fact that the deterioration of global economic time tends to come with a lag in Lithuania.