Exports dropped 2.2 percent over a year earlier to EUR 177.4 billion, its lowest since December 2018, from EUR 181.4 billion in August 2018, while imports slumped at a faster 4.1 percent to EUR 162.6 billion, also the lowest since December last year, from EUR 169.5 billion. Intra-euro area trade decreased 5.6 percent to EUR 133.7 billion from EUR 141.6 billion. Considering the first eight months of the year, the trade surplus increased to EUR 139 billion from EUR 132 billion in the same period of 2018.
Meantime, the European Union trade deficit rose to EUR 12.1 billion from EUR 7.9 billion in August 2018, as imports edged down 0.6 percent to EUR 166.3 billion while exports slipped 3.3 percent to EUR 154.2 billion. Considering January to August, the European Union recorded a EUR 23.1 billion gap, compared to a EUR 10.3 billion shortfall in the same period a year earlier. The trade surplus with the US jumped to EUR 102.7 billion from EUR 90.6 billion, while the trade deficit with China advanced to EUR 127.4 billion from EUR 116.3 billion.
Imports increased 4.6 percent to EUR 1,357.6 billion in the first eight months of 2019, boosted by higher purchases of food & drink (3.5 percent), raw materials (2.0 percent), chemicals (7.9 percent), machinery & vehicles (5.9 percent) and other manufactured goods (3.5 percent). On the other hand, imports of energy declined 4.1 percent. Purchases rose mainly from the US (10.5 percent), China (8.0 percent), Switzerland (20.2 percent), Turkey (5.3 percent), Japan (6.6 percent), South Korea (3.9 percent), India (5.5 percent) and Canada (9.9 percent), but fell from Russia (-5 percent) and Norway (-11.3 percent).
Exports rose 3.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 1,334.5 billion, driven by higher sales of food & drink (9.4 percent), raw materials (3.8 percent), chemicals (8.6 percent), machinery & vehicles (2.2 percent) and other manufactured goods (4.2 percent). Meanwhile, sales of energy decreased 6.3 percent. Among major trade partners, exports grew to the US (11.5 percent), China (6.6 percent), Switzerland (0.9 percent), Russia (3.9 percent), Japan (7.3 percent), Norway (4.2 percent) and Canada (6.5 percent), but dropped to Turkey (-15.3 percent), South Korea (-5.6 percent) and India (-4.4 percent).