Seasonally adjusted exports fell slightly by €122 million to €8.663 million in August from €8,785 million in July, while imports declined by €317 million to €4,937 million from €5,254 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, sales grew €394 million or 5 percent to €8,167 million, boosted by a 39 percent increase of exports of medical and pharmaceutical products. Meanwhile, shipments of organic chemicals fell by 23 percent and sales of machinery and transport equipment declined by 16 percent. The EU accounted for €4,278 million (52 percent) of total goods exports of which €1,086 million went to Belgium and €1,022 million to the UK, while the US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €1,788 million (22 percent) of total exports.
By contrast, imports shrank by €185 million or 4 percent to €4,493 million, mainly due to lower purchases of petroleum products (-13 percent). In addition, imports of other transport equipment (including aircraft); and machinery specialised for particular industries went down by 71 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Imports excluding other transport equipment, including aircraft grew 7 percent. The EU accounted for 59 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,267 million (28 percent) of total imports coming from the UK, while the US (13 percent) and China (9 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports.