Seasonally adjusted exports fell by €382 million to €8.259 million in September from €8,641 million in August, while imports declined by €130 million to €4,921 million from €5,051 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, sales grew €420 million or 5 percent to €8,674 million, boosted by a 14 percent increase of exports of medical and pharmaceutical products and by a 17 percent growth of essential oils shipments. Also, sales of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and parts increased by 24 percent. The EU accounted for €5,002 million or 58 percent of total goods exports of which €1,278 million went to Belgium and €1,201 million to the UK. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €1,873 million or 22 percent of total exports.
By contrast, imports shrank by €284 million or 5 percent to €4,901 million, mainly due to lower purchases of petroleum products (-47 percent). In addition, imports of other transport equipment (including aircraft) went down by 82 percent while purchases of organic chemicals increased by 86 percent. Imports excluding other transport equipment, including aircraft grew 8 percent. The EU accounted for €2,937 million or 60 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,395 million of total imports coming from the UK. The US (€674 million or 14 percent) and China (€418 million or 9 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports.