Imports increased 13.6 percent to EUR 27.60 billion in July 2018 from EUR 24.29 a year earlier, mainly due to purchases of energy products (31.6 percent), namely oil & by-products (31.3 percent) and natural gas (41.7 percent); equipment goods (11.5 percent) such as machinery for industry (9.0 percent); chemicals (12.1 percent), including medicines (15.4 percent), plastics (10.1 percent) and organic chemicals (19.3 percent); non-chemical semi-manufactured products (21.6 percent); vehicles (8.2 percent) and raw materials (31.1 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports grew mainly from Germany (13.1 percent), France (9.7 percent), Italy (5.2 percent), Portugal (22.1 percent) the Netherlands (5.3 percent) and the UK (2.1 percent).
Exports advanced at a slower 9.8 percent to EUR 24.35 billion from EUR 22.19 billion in the previous year, boosted by sales of energy products (54.8 percent), mostly oil & by-products (49.2 percent) and natural gas (509.9 percent); equipment goods (8.8 percent); raw materials (73.0 percent); chemicals (8.1 percent); non-chemical semi-manufactured products (7.0 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (3.2 percent) and vehicle parts & accessories (6.1 percent).
Among major trade partners, exports went up to France (16.0 percent), Germany (1.7 percent), Italy (6.4 percent), Portugal (9.8 percent) and to the UK (8.3 percent).
Considering the January to July period of 2018, the trade gap widened by 35.2 percent from the previous year to EUR 17.83 billion, as purchases soared 6.2 percent to EUR 187.10 billion and exports rose 3.8 percent to EUR 169.27 billion.