The recovery in exports was broadly driven by the rise in shipments towards Belgium (+30.2 percent), Mercosur countries (+21.9 percent) and Asean countries (+19.1 percent). There was an increase in sales of pharmaceutical products, medicinal chemical and botanical products (+29.2 percent) and leather goods, except clothing (+13.4 percent). The increase in shipments of pharmaceuticals products to Belgium, basic metals and fabricated metal products to the OPEC countries and the United States explain almost a third of the rise in exports.
Purchases from OPEC countries (-34.0 percent), United States (-16.0 percent), and Switzerland (-7.9 percent) registered a sharp decline, due to falling imports of mineral and quarrying products, except oil and gas (-31.9 percent), natural gas (-26.4 percent) and refined petroleum products (-12.2 percent).
With European Union countries, Italy registered a trade surplus of € 441 million, narrowing from a surplus of € 650 million in April 2012. Exports to EU nations were up 3.1 percent year-on-year, compared to a rise of 4.5 percent in imports. In the first four months of the year, Italy posted a global trade surplus of 4.626 billion euros, compared with a deficit of around 4.2 billion euros in Jan-April 2012.