Euro Area Trade Surplus Bigger than Expected


The Euro Area trade surplus narrowed to EUR 15.7 billion in April of 2019 from EUR 17.1 billion in the same month of the previous year, still beating market expectations of a EUR 8.8 billion surplus. Imports rose 6.6 percent and exports increased at a softer 5.2 percent. Considering the first quarter of the year, the country’s trade surplus decreased to EUR 59.6 billion from EUR 63.6 billion in the same period of 2018.

Imports advanced 6.6 percent to EUR 177.2 billion in April from last year’s EUR 166.3 billion, while exports went up at a softer 5.2 percent to EUR 192.9 billion from EUR 183.4 billion. Intra-euro are trade rose 3 percent year-on-year to EUR 163.7 billion in April. Considering the January-April period, the trade surplus was at EUR 59.6 billion, compared to EUR 63.6 billion in the same period a year earlier, with exports increasing 4.3 percent to EUR 768.9 billion and imports rising 5.2 percent to EUR 709.2 billion. 

Meantime, the European Union recorded a trade surplus of EUR 1.4 billion, compared to a EUR 0.9 billion deficit a year ago, mainly due to a jump in exports (10.2 percent to EUR 171.1 billion) and a smaller rise in imports (8.6 percent to EUR 169.7 billion). Considering the first four months of the year, the European Union trade gap widened to EUR 21.7 billion from EUR 10.3 billion in the same period of 2018. The trade surplus with the US rose to EUR 48.2 billion from EUR 46 billion, while the trade deficit with China went up to EUR 62 billion from EUR 57.2 billion. 

Exports increased 4.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 654.9 billion in January-April, driven by higher sales of food & drinks (9.6 percent); chemicals (7.8 percent); raw materials (7.1 percent), other manufactured goods (4.4 percent), machinery & vehicles (3 percent) and energy (1.5 percent). Among major trade partners, exports grew to the US (11 percent), China (11.9 percent), Switzerland (7.2 percent), Russia (1.8 percent), Japan (9.4 percent), Norway (10.1 percent) and Canada (9.9 percent), but declined to Turkey (-20.6 percent), South Korea (-7.7 percent) and India (-3.4 percent). 

Imports advanced at a stronger 6.6 percent to EUR 676.7 billion, boosted by higher purchases of chemicals (10.7 percent), machinery & vehicles (8 percent), food & drinks (6.2 percent), other manufactured goods (5.7 percent), raw materials (3.7 percent) and energy (2.1 percent). Imports increased mainly from the US (14.3 percent), China (10.4 percent), Switzerland (8.9 percent), Russia (2.4 percent), Turkey (6.7 percent), Japan (7.1 percent), South Korea (8.7 percent), India (7.6 percent) and Canada (10.8 percent), but decreased from Norway (-5.8 percent).

Euro Area Trade Surplus Bigger than Expected


Eurostat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com
6/18/2019 9:31:52 AM