Surplus of the current account of the balance of payments in February made USD 9 million, according to preliminary data. The National Bank of Ukraine has said this in a statement, Ukrainian News Agency reports. Since January 1, 2018, the surplus has made USD 128 million. According to the report, growth in exports of commodities in February slowed down to 11% year over year despite favorable price situation for ferrous metals, ores and crops. The deterioration of export indicators for certain commodities first of all reflected a slowdown in growth of production rate in some sectors. In the first two months of 2018, commodity exports rose by 16.6% to USD 6.7 billion. Commodity imports also slowed down their growth in February to 9.5% year over year (mainly due to energy carriers and chemical products). On the whole, commodity imports grew by 19% to USD 8 billion in the first two months of 2018. In February, net capital inflow worth USD 243 million was registered month over month. At the same time, the growth in net external obligations of private sector made only USD 82 million. Cash foreign currency volumes reduction also somewhat slowed down. Net inflow of direct foreign investments in February made USD 111 million and were fully channeled into real sector to raise equity capital. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, in 2017, deficit of current account of the balance of payments made USD 3.8 billion, according to the NBU. This was the third year in a row when the Ukraine's balance of payments was offset with surplus. In 2017, the surplus of the balance of payments rose significantly over 2016 from USD 1.3 billion to USD 2.6 billion (according to preliminary data). In 2017, the current account deficit made USD 3.8 billion and almost corresponded to the level of the previous year (USD 3.5 billion), despite negative impact of termination of trade with uncontrolled territories and lower crop harvest results. However, expansion of the merchandise deficit, which was a result of the aforementioned factors, as well as further increase in investment imports was partially compensated with sustainable growth in private remittances and exportation of services. Commodity exports rose by 19% to USD 39.9 billion. In 2017, the most considerable growth was shown by exportation of Ukrainian products to the European Union (32%). As a result, the EU countries became the largest trade partner of Ukraine and their share in the total commodity exports made 35.4% as against 31.9% in 2016. At the same time, despite the growth of commodity exports to Russia, the share in the total volume of exported goods decreased to 8.5% as against 9.1% in 2016. Commodity imports rose by 21% to USD 49 billion in 2017. Thanks to the surplus of the consolidated balance of payments and receipt of another tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 2017, Ukraine's international reserves rose by 21% to USD 18.8 billion or 3.6 months of future imports as at late 2017.