Exports surged 14 percent from a year earlier to EUR 12.52 billion in April, boosted by sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (21 percent), organic chemicals (8 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (47 percent), and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus (26 percent).
The EU accounted for EUR 5.74 billion, or 46 percent, of total goods exports in April of which EUR 1.22 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.01 billion was exported to Germany. Total EU exports in April rose EUR 392 million, or 7 percent from a year earlier, with exports to Great Britain accounting for 9 percent of total exports and increasing EUR 102 million, or 10 percent, to EUR 1.13 billion. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 4.00 billion, or 32 percent, of total exports in April.
Meanwhile, imports were up 6 percent to EUR 7.01 billion, mainly due to purchases of other transport equipment, including aircraft (14 percent), and petroleum and related materials (36 percent); while imports of medical and pharmaceutical products plunged 31 percent.
The EU accounted for EUR 4.09 billion, or 58 percent, of total goods imports in April, which is a decrease of EUR 167 million, or 4 percent, compared with April 2018. Imports from Great Britain increased EUR 113 million, or 8 percent, to EUR 1.52 billion. Imports from Great Britain were 22 percent of the value of total imports in April. The US with EUR 1.24 billion, or 18 percent, and China with EUR 0.42 billion, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.
Considering the first four months of the year, the trade surplus widened sharply to EUR 23.06 billion from EUR 18.16 billion in the same period of 2018.