Exports jumped 20 percent from the previous year to an all-time high of EUR 12.78 billion in June, mainly due to higher sales of medical & pharmaceutical products (14 percent) and organic chemicals (76 percent). By contrast, exports of food & live animals dropped 8 percent.
Exports to the EU grew 20 percent to EUR 6.48 billion in June. They accounted for 51 percent of total goods exports, of which EUR 1.58 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.03 billion to Germany. Exports to Great Britain, however, fell 2 percent to EUR 1.20 billion. The US was the largest non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.29 billion, or 26 percent, of total exports.
Imports rose at a softer 10 percent also to a record high of EUR 7.79 billion, as purchases increased for medical and pharmaceutical products (12 percent), food & live animals (5 percent), and organic chemicals (44 percent).
Imports from the EU increased 33 percent to EUR 5.08 billion, accounting for 65 percent of total imports. In addition, imports from Great Britain surged 4 percent to EUR 1.44 billion. The US with EUR 1.03 billion, or 13 percent, and China with EUR 354 million, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.
In January to June, the trade surplus widened to EUR 28.03 billion from EUR 22.83 billion in the same period of 2017.