Year-on-year, exports jumped by EUR 905 million, or 10 percent, to EUR 10,178 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (28 percent), food and live animals (25 percent), and office machines and automatic data processing machines (37 percent).
The EU accounted for EUR 5,327 million, or 52 percent, of total goods exports in May 2017, an increase of EUR 492 million, or 10 percent, compared with May 2016. Exports to Belgium were EUR 1,298 million and to Germany were EUR 791 million. Also, exports to the UK increased by EUR 154 million , or 14 percent, to EUR 1,242 million, boosted by higher exports of chemicals and related products. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 2,412 million, or 24 percent, of total exports in May 2017.
Meanwhile, imports fell by EUR 295 million, or 5 percent, to EUR 6,004 million compared with May 2016, due to lower purchases of road vehicles (-21 percent). By contrast, imports of chemicals and related products increased by 26 percent.
The EU accounted for 59 percent of the value of goods imports in May 2017. Total imports of EUR 3,534 million represents a decrease of EUR 181 million, or 5 percent, compared with May 2016. Meanwhile, imports from the UK increased by EUR 266 million, or 21 percent, to EUR 1,553 million, due to higher purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, and chemicals and related products The US with EUR 1,176 million, or 20 percent, and China with EUR 386 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries in May 2017 was EUR 2,470 million, a decrease of EUR 114 million, or 4 percent, compared with May 2016.
In the first five months of the year, the trade surplus increased to EUR 20.8 billion from EUR 17.5 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 10 percent to EUR 51.2 billion and imports rose at a slower 5 percent to EUR 30.4 billion.