Seasonally adjusted exports increased €192 million, or 2 percent, to €10,267 million compared with September's reading of €10,075 million; while imports decreased by €1,096 million, or 18 percent, to €5,176 million from €6,272 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports decreased €644 million, or 6 percent, to €10,111 million, due to lower sales of organic chemicals (-15 percent), and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus (-12 percent). By contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by 159 percent.
The EU accounted for €4,796 million (48 percent) of total goods exports, of which €1,332 million went to Belgium and €1,019 million to the UK. Exports to the EU decreased by 9 percent in October 2016 compared with October 2015, while non-EU exports decreased by 3 percent over the same period. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,759 million (27 percent) of total exports.
Meanwhile, imports dropped by €1,241 million, or 20 percent, to €5,095 million compared with October 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of medical and pharmaceutical products (-19 percent), machinery specialised for particular industries (-51 percent) and petroleum (-20 percent).
The EU accounted for €3,303 (65 percent) of the value of goods imports, with €1,314 million (26 percent) of total imports coming from the UK. Imports from the EU decreased by €573 million (-15 percent) in October 2016 compared with October 2015. Non-EU imports decreased by €669 million (-27 percent) over the same period. The US with €658 million (13 percent) and China with €394 million (8 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports.
In the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €39.6 billion from €36.1 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 4 percent to €96.9 billion while imports rose 1 percent to €57.3 billion.