Italy Trade Surplus at 3-Year Low


Italian trade surplus decreased to €0.04 billion in January of 2016, down from a €0.13 billion surplus a year earlier and staying way below market expectations of €4.33 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since January of 2013, when the trade balance recorded a €1.85 billion deficit, as exports decreased 3.5 percent, mainly due to lower sales of refined petroleum products and base metals, while imports went down at a slower 3.2 percent, as purchases of crude oil and natural gas led the fall.

Year-on-year, exports shrank 3.5 percent to €27.97 billion from €28.99 billion, as sales of energy products (-16.4 percent), intermediate goods (-5.8 percent), consumer goods (-1.5 percent) and capital goods (-1.4 percent) dropped. Among sectors, exports of refined petroleum products (-16.9 percent); basic metals and fabricated metal products (-11.7 percent); pharmaceutical preparations, medicinal chemical and botanical (-10.5 percent); machinery and equipment (-5.6 percent); and electrical equipment (-4 percent) fell the most.

The biggest decreases in shipments were reported for Russia (-24.2 percent), MERCOSUR (-18.8 percent), ASEAN countries (-14.8 percent), Belgium (-12.5 percent) and China (-12 percent). Meanwhile, sales to the Netherlands and Spain rose the most by 15 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. 

Imports dropped 3.2 percent to €27.94 billion from €28.86 billion in January 2015, led by a fall in purchases of energy products (-27.3 percent) and intermediate goods (-5.5 percent). In contrast, imports of capital and consumer goods expanded by 5.7 percent and by 3.6 percent, respectively. Among sectors, imports of crude oil (-34.9 percent); natural gas (-25.8 percent); refined petroleum products (-16.4 percent); basic metals and fabricated metal products (-10.7 percent); and chemicals (-7.4 percent) led the drop.

The decline in imports mainly reflected the strong fall in purchases from Russia (-14.2 percent), OPEC countries (-12.6 percent), the Netherlands (-10.4 percent), the US (-8.8 percent) and Austria (-5.6 percent). In contrast, imports from Poland (+20 percent) and ASEAN countries (+13.6 percent) jumped.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, exports shrank 2.2 percent while imports fell 0.6 percent.

Italy Trade Surplus at 3-Year Low


Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/17/2016 10:55:23 AM