Seasonally adjusted exports went up by €656 million to €9,868 million in December from €9,212 million in November while imports increased by only €11 million to €5,899 million from €5,888 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, exports grew €485 million or 6 percent to €8,709 million, boosted by higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (+27 percent) and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus (+20 percent). In contrast, exports of organic chemicals decreased by 16 percent. The EU accounted for €4,331 million or 50 percent of total goods exports of which €1,176 million went to the UK and €984 million to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €1,991 million or 23 percent of total exports.
Meanwhile, imports rose by €472 million or 8 percent to €6,026 million, mainly due to higher purchases of organic chemicals (+169 percent) and road vehicles (+28 percent); while imports of petroleum dropped 10 percent. The EU accounted for €3,857 million or 64 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,587 million of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €625 million or 10 percent and China with €383 million or 6 percent were the main non-EU sources of imports.
Considering full 2015, the trade surplus the trade surplus went up to €44,015 million, hitting the largest surplus record so far. Exports totalled €111,038 million, an increase of 20 percent over 2014, as sales of medical and pharmaceutical products increased 36 percent. Meanwhile, imports grew to €67,023 million, an increase of 10 percent over 2014, as imports of chemicals and related products rose 22 percent and those of road vehicles were 33 percent.