Year-on-year, exports rose 3.3 percent to €34.085 billion from €33 billion, as sales of consumer goods (+8 percent), intermediate goods (+3.9 percent), capital goods (+0.9 percent) increased while energy products (-29.1 percent) fell sharply. Among sectors, exports of medical, pharmaceutical and chemical products (+21 percent) computers, electronic and optical products (+10.5 percent), rubber and plastic products (+9.6 percent) expanded the most.
The biggest increases in shipments were reported for Japan (+13.6 percent), ASEAN countries (+12.4 percent) and Belgium (+10.2 percent). Meanwhile, sales to Other African countries and MERCOSUR fell the most by 22.6 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively.
Imports went up 2.4 percent to €30.3 billion from € 29.5 billion in February 2015, led by a rise in purchases of capital (+10.7 percent), consumer (+6.4 percent) and intermediate (+4.8 percent) goods. In contrast, energy products dropped 30.6 percent. Among sectors, imports of motor vehicles (+30.9 percent) and medical, pharmaceutical and chemical products (+16 percent) rose while imports of crude oil (-42.4 percent) and natural gas (-27.5 percent) fell sharply.
The growth in imports mainly reflected the rise in purchases from Japan (+55.5 percent), Belgium (+28.4 percent), Czech Republic (+24.3 percent) and ASEAN (+19.6 percent). In contrast, imports from Russia (-31.8 percent) and Middle Eastern countries (-29.2 percent) fell.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, exports went up by 2.5 percent and imports edged up 0.6 percent.