Euro Area Trade Surplus Widens in May

In May, the Euro Area trade balance with the rest of the world registered a €15.2 billion surplus, compared with €6.6 bn in May of 2012. The April balance was €14.1 bn, compared with €3.3 bn in April of 2012. The increase in the trade surplus is mainly driven by falling imports, down 6 percent yoy, as exports remained broadly unchanged.

Exports decreased slightly to €159.0 bn from €159.1 bn in May of 2012. Imports were down to €143.8 bn from € 152.5 bn registered in the same month of the previous year. In May compared with April of 2013, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 2.3 percent and imports by 2.2 percent.

In the January to April period, European Union imports from most of its major partners fell compared with January-April 2012, except for purchases from Turkey (+5 percent) and India (+3 percent). The most notable decreases were recorded for imports from Norway (-16 percent), Japan (-14 percent) and Brazil (-11 percent). EU exports to most of its major partners grew in January-April 2013 compared with the same period a year earlier, except for India (-5 percent) and China (unchanged). The largest increase was recorded for exports to Switzerland (+25 percent). 

The European Union trade surplus increased with the USA (€30.5 bn in January-April 2013 compared with €24.1), Switzerland (€27.0 bn compared with +14.5 bn) and Turkey (€9.1 bn compared with €7.9 bn). The EU trade deficit fell with China (€-41.8 bn compared with €-44.8 bn), Russia (€-32.9 bn compared with €-35.5 bn), Norway (€-13.7 bn compared with €-20.7 bn) and Japan (€-1.3 bn compared with €-4.5 bn). 

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (€67.3 bn in January-April 2013), followed by the Netherlands (€19.2 bn) and Ireland (€12.1 bn). The United Kingdom (€-29.2 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (€-25.8 bn), Greece (€-6.6 bn) and Spain (€-5.7 bn).

Eurostat | Nuno Fontes |
7/16/2013 10:43:16 AM