Year-on-year, exports decreased 1.1 percent to €37.032 billion from €37.45 billion, as sales of energy products (-21.7 percent) fell sharply, followed by declines in consumer goods (-0.6 percent) and intermediate goods (-2.6 percent) while capital goods went up (+1.4 percent). Among sectors, exports of refined petroleum products (-24.7 percent) and metals (-7.4 percent) led the fall.
The biggest decreases in shipments were reported for MERCOSUR (-28.2 percent), Other African countries (-25.8 percent), North Africa (-21.1 percent), OPEC (-21.6 percent), Middle Eastern countries (-12.9 percent), Central and South America (-12.9 percent). Meanwhile, sales to Belgium (+16.9 percent) and Czech Republic (+8.1 percent) rose the most.
Imports went down percent to €31.67 billion from € 33.6 billion in March 2015, led by a declines in purchases of energy (-32.5 percent), consumer (-3.0 percent) and intermediate (-6.5 percent) goods. In contrast, capital products grew 5.3 percent. Among sectors, imports of crude oil (-38.9 percent), refined petroleum products (-33.7 percent) and natural gas (-21.2 percent) fell sharply.
The decline in imports mainly reflected the fall in purchases from China (-15.1 percent), Russia (-18.1 percent) France (-3.9 percent) and OPEC (-6.9 percent). In contrast, imports from Czech Republic (+8.9 percent) and Turkey (+6.5 percent) rose.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, exports went down 1.5 percent and imports decreased 2.4 percent.