Seasonally adjusted exports increased by €1,400 million, or 16 percent, to €10,286 million compared with July's reading of €8,886 million; while imports decreased by €94 million, or 2 percent, to €5,331 million from €5,425 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports rose €1,435 million, or 17 percent, to €10,061 million, due to higher sales of organic chemicals (+66 percent), medical and pharmaceutical products (+10 percent) and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (+192 percent).
The EU accounted for €5,157 million, or 51 percent, of total goods exports in August 2016 of which €1,584 million went to Belgium and €1,098 million to Great Britain. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,513 million, or 25 percent, of total exports. Exports to the EU increased by €776 million, or 18 percent, compared with August 2015; while non-EU exports increased by €659 million, or 16 percent, over the same period.
Meanwhile, imports dropped by €113 million, or 2 percent, to €5,096 million compared with August 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of machinery specialised for particular industries (-54 percent); while imports rose for organic chemicals (+161 percent) and medical and pharmaceutical products (+46 percent).
The EU accounted for 59 percent of the value of goods imports in August 2016, with €1,228 million, or 24 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €701 million, or 14 percent, and China with €354 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. Imports from the EU decreased by €166 million, or 5 percent, compared with August 2015. Non-EU imports increased by €53 million, or 3 percent, over the same period.
In the first eight months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €32.6 billion from €28 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 5 percent to €76.1 billion while imports contracted 3 percent to €43.5 billion.