Euro Area Trade Surplus Rises in May


The first estimate for the euro area (EA16) trade balance with the rest of the world in April 2009 gave a 2.7 bn euro surplus, compared with +2.2 bn in April 2008.

The March 2009 balance was +1.8 bn, compared with -2.3 bn in March 2008. In April 2009 compared with March 2009, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.3% and imports by 2.7%.

The first estimate for the April 2009 extra-EU271 trade balance was a deficit of 7.8 bn euro, compared with -14.9 bn in April 2008. In March 2009 the balance was -9.3 bn, compared with -19.6 bn in March 2008. In April 2009 compared with March 2009, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.5% and imports by 2.8%.

The EU27 energy deficit decreased (-58.0 bn euro in January-March 2009 compared with -87.9 bn in January-March 2008), while the surplus fell for chemicals (+17.1 bn compared with +19.5 bn) and for machinery and vehicles (+20.4 bn compared with +33.8 bn).

EU27 trade flows with all of its major partners fell, except for imports from Switzerland which remained stable in January-March 2009 compared with January-March 2008. The largest decreases were recorded for exports to Turkey (-37%), Russia (-35%), South Korea (-25%) and India (-22%), and for imports from Russia (-40%), Turkey (-27%), Japan and Brazil (both -26%).

The EU27 trade surplus fell with the USA (+5.7 bn euro in January-March 2009 compared with +16.4 bn in January-March 2008) and with Switzerland (+3.2 bn compared with +4.7 bn). The EU27 trade deficit decreased with China (-37.0 bn compared with -38.5 bn), Russia (-10.1 bn compared with -18.7 bn), Norway (-9.1 bn compared with-12.3 bn) and Japan (-5.7 bn compared with -8.8 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+27.4 bn euro in January-March 2009), followed by the Netherlands (+9.2 bn) and Ireland (+8.9 bn). The United Kingdom (-23.4 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-15.9 bn), Spain (-13.5 bn), Greece (-7.4 bn) and Italy (-4.4 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
6/17/2009 12:40:27 PM