In December 2012, compared to the previous month, there was an increase in imports (+1.3 percent) and a slight decline in exports (-0.5 percent). The downturn in exports is of equal intensity for EU areas (-0.5 percent) and non-EU (-0.4 percent). Sales of energy products (-5.7 percent) and durable goods (-4.7 percent) recorded a significant decline, while the export of non-durable consumer goods (+2.2 percent) increased.
In December, the balance amounted to +2.2 billion, resulting from a surplus with non-EU countries (+3.3 billion) and a deficit with EU countries (-1.2 billion). The increase in imports is the result of increased purchases from EU markets (+3.5 percent) and a decrease from extra-EU countries (-1.3 percent). Purchases of capital goods increased 8.2 percent.
Compared to the same month of 2011, there was a decrease for both exports (-3.7 percent) and imports (-6.4 percent), which is accentuated when measured in terms of export volume (-6.7 percent) and imports volume(-8.1 percent).
In 2012, the trade balance, supported from the large surplus of non-energy products (+74.0 billion), reaching +11.0 billion. This surplus, the biggest since 1999, takes place in a context of annual growth of 3.7 percent in exports and 5.7 percent decline in imports. The decline in purchases from international markets in 2012 is particularly pronounced in Japan (-24.3 percent), among the Mercosur countries (-21.9 percent) and India (-21.5 percent). In sharp decline are imports of motor vehicles (-26.2 percent), computer, electronic and optical equipment (-20.2 percent) and textiles (-14.0 percent).