Euro Area Trade Surplus at Record High For The Month of April

The Eurozone trade surplus widened 31.5 percent year-on-year to €27.5 billion in April of 2016. It is the highest trade surplus for an April month on record as imports fell at a faster pace than exports due to decline in oil prices.

Total exports shrank 0.9 percent year-on-year to €172.3 billion, following a 2.3 percent drop in March. Imports fell 5.3 percent to €144.8 billion, after decreasing by 8.4 percent in the previous month. Considering the first four months of the year, sales from the Eurozone were down 1 percent to €659 billion and imports slumped at a faster 3 percent to €577.7 billion, bringing the trade surplus up to €81.3 billion from €67.6 billion a year earlier.

Considering the European Union, exports declined 6 percent to €146.9 billion and imports fell 4 percent to €141.3 billion. As a result, the EU28 recorded a €5.6 billion surplus compared with €8.2 billion a year earlier. Intra-EU28 trade rose 2 percent to €260.9 billion. 

In the first four months of the year, exports from the European Union stood at €556.4 billion, down 5 percent and imports were at €552.5 billion, down 4 percent. As a result, the EU28 trade surplus narrowed to €3.9 billion, compared with €4.7 billion a year earlier. 

Sales of energy recorded the biggest drop (-28 percent), followed by other goods (-20 percent), raw materials (-8 percent), machinery and vehicles (-3 percent) and chemicals (-2 percent) while shipments of food went up 1 percent. Among trading partners, the highest declines were reported for South Korea (-10 percent) and Switzerland (-8 percent), Russia (-6 percent), India (-5 percent), the US (-3 percent) and Turkey (-3 percent).

Imports of primary goods slumped 23 percent, namely energy (-34 percent) while purchases of manufactured goods (+1 percent) and other goods (+61 percent) rose. Imports from Norway declined 24 percent and from Russia went down 22 percent. In contrast, those from Switzerland (+15 percent), Turkey (+10 percent) and Japan (+11 percent) went up. 

Eurostat | Joana Taborda |
6/15/2016 10:47:10 AM