Seasonally adjusted exports declined by €181 million to €8,571 million in March from €8,752 million in February while imports dropped by a faster €619 million to €4,465 million from €5,084 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports went down €75 million or 1 percent to €9,368 million, led by lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-11 percent) and office machines and automatic data processing machines (-16 percent). In contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances rose 126 percent. The EU accounted for €4,604 million or 49 percent of total goods exports of which €1,128 million went to the UK and €1,003 million to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,311 million or 25 percent of total exports.
Meanwhile, imports dropped sharply by €1,206 million or 19 percent to €5,154 million, mainly due to lower purchases of organic chemicals (-26 percent) and machinery specialised for particular industries (-65 percent); while imports of road vehicles rose by 11 percent. The EU accounted for €3,187 million or 62 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,282 million of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €700 million or 14 percent and China with €352 million or 7 percent were the main non-EU sources of imports.