Exports increased 2.3 percent to EUR 22.59 billion in February from EUR 22.08 billion a year earlier. The main contributions to export growth came from energy products (1.4 points), capital goods (1 point), non-chemical semi-manufactured products (0.6 points) and raw materials (0.5 points). The sectors with the most significant negative contribution were autos (-0.8 points) and food, beverages and tobacco (-0.5 points).
Exports to the EU edged down 0.2 percent year-on-year, as an increase of 0.6 percent in sales to the euro zone was offset by a decline of 3 percent to the rest of the European Union. Among major trading partners, exports grew to Portugal (8.2 percent) and Germany (3.1 percent), but dropped to Italy (-5.6 percent), France (-2.1 percent) and the UK (-8.1 percent).
Imports rose at a softer 0.3 percent to EUR 24.76 billion in February from EUR 24.68 billion a year earlier.
In the first two months of the year, the trade gap widened 6.3 percent to EUR 6.10 billion, as imports went up 4.6 percent to an all-time high of EUR 51.52 billion and exports increased 4.4 percent to EUR 45.42 billion, also a new record high for that period.