Exports rose to €20.4 billion from €20.3 billion in March and from €17.2 billion in April of 2012. Shipments to emerging markets continued to increase (+28 percent yoy) while sales to the Euro Area recovered (+11 percent yoy). Exports to Africa grew 30 percent as shipments to South Africa soared 152 percent. Also noteworthy is the increase in exports to Brazil (+85 percent), China (+32 percent) and United States (+24 percent).
By sector, the growth in exports is driven by transport equipment (+61.8 percent), oil and oil products (+36.5 percent), machinery for industry (+26.7 percent) and textiles (+32.3 percent).
Imports increased to €21.1 billion from €16.7 billion a month earlier and from €18.2 billion in the same month of the previous year. The rise in imports is mainly due to increasing purchases of capital and intermediate goods (+24 percent).
The trade deficit for the first four months of the year narrowed 59 percent from a year earlier to € 5.7 billion.