Exports jumped 11 percent from the previous year to EUR 10.95 billion in April, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (31 percent) and other transport equipment, including aircraft (48 percent). By contrast, exports of electrical machinery and apparatus dropped 37 percent.
Exports to the EU grew 6 percent to EUR 5.24 billion in April. They accounted for 48 percent of total goods exports, of which EUR 1.29 billion went to Belgium and EUR 0.84 billion to Germany. Exports to Great Britain, however, fell 31 percent to EUR 1.00 billion compared with the same month last year. The decrease was led by chemicals and related products; minerals fuels, lubricants and related materials; and food and live animals. The US was the largest non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.06 billion, or 28 percent, of total exports.
Imports declined 5 percent to EUR 6.35 billion compared with April 2017, as purchases fell for other transport equipment, including aircraft (-32 percent) and medical and pharmaceutical products (-22 percent). On the other hand, imports of mineral fuels surged 41 percent.
Imports from the EU increased 8 percent to EUR 4.12 billion, accounting for 65 percent of total imports. Still, imports from Great Britain dropped 2 percent to EUR 1.39 billion, dragged by lower purchases of chemicals and related products. The US with EUR 884 million, or 14 percent, and China with EUR 354 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.
In January to April, the trade surplus widened to EUR 18.26 billion from EUR 16.16 billion in the same period of 2017.