Imports jumped 6.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 28.32 billion from EUR 26.62 billion a year ago, driven by higher purchases of coke and refined petroleum products (37.2 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (25.6 percent) and mineral extraction products from quarries and mines (25 percent), such as crude oil (22.9 percent) and natural gas (31.3 percent). On the other hand, imports fell mostly for transport equipment (-13.3 percent), namely vehicles (-18.6 percent).
Imports rose mostly from non-EU countries (12.3 percent), of which Russia (7 percent), China (3 percent), India (25.3 percent) and OPEC countries (34.9 percent). Meantime, purchases also went up from EU countries (2.0 percent), namely Germany (2.5 percent) and France (4 percent).
Exports advanced 5.1 percent to EUR 30.89 billion from EUR 29.38 billion in August 2017, boosted by higher sales of: coke and refined petroleum products (31.6 percent); electrical appliances (15.5 percent); machinery and apparatus (2.8 percent); transport equipment, excluding motor vehicles (7.6 percent); food products, beverages & tobacco (4.5 percent) and electronic products (10.2 percent). In contrast, main declines were seen in sales of base metals and metal products, excluding machines and plants (-0.8 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (-0.5 percent) and agriculture, forestry and fishing products (-1.5 percent).
Shipments increased primarily to EU countries (5.7 percent), namely Germany (6.0 percent), France (2.6 percent) and Spain (8.3 percent). Also, external sales went up to non-EU countries (4.4 percent), mainly to the US (13 percent), Japan (8.5 percent) and ASEAN countries (7.8 percent).
With European Union countries, the trade surplus widened to EUR 0.817 billion from EUR 0.233 billion in August last year.
Considering the January to August period of 2018, the country's trade narrowed slightly to EUR 27.28 billion from EUR 28.38 billion, as imports grew 5.2 percent and exports rose at a slower 4.3 percent.