Imports jumped 5.7 percent from a year earlier to EUR 35.64 billion in September from EUR 33.73 billion, led by gains in purchases of: crude oil (35.9 percent); natural gas (50 percent); metals (6.9 percent); machinery (7 percent) and pharmaceuticals (9 percent). Meanwhile, imports of food products and vehicles fell 7.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from China (14.3 percent), the US (26.3 percent), Belgium (16.4 percent), ASEAN countries (34.2 percent) and Russia (19.7 percent). By contrast, imports fell from Spain (-8.7 percent), Germany (-2.4 percent) and France (-2 percent).
Exports dropped 2.8 percent to EUR 36.92 billion in September from EUR 37.99 billion a year ago, mainly due to lower sales of: other transport means (-13.1 percent); machinery (-3.2 percent); food products (-4.3 percent); pharmaceuticals (-5.4 percent); electrical devices (-4.8 percent); other manufactured goods (-5.6 percent); and vehicles (-3.4 percent). By contrast, exports of coke and refined petroleum products increased 6 percent and those of electronics rose 4.4 percent.
Exports fell mostly to the US (-8.6 percent), Turkey (-31 percent), Russia (-24.7 percent), China (-17.2 percent), Japan (-17.3 percent) and MERCOSUR countries (-18.2 percent). Meanwhile, sales rose to the Netherlands (11.3 percent), ASEAN countries (4.7 percent) and Poland (2.4 percent).
With European Union countries, Italy's trade surplus widened to EUR 1.183 billion in September from EUR 0.747 billion last year.