Imports jumped 14.2 percent from a year earlier to EUR 39.93 billion in October 2018 from EUR 34.96 billion a year ago, mainly boosted by higher purchases of: crude oil (32.3 percent); natural gas (29.8 percent); metals (19.3 percent); machinery and equipment (7.7 percent); pharmaceuticals (31.7 percent); chemicals and chemical products (9.2 percent); food products (4.2 percent) and vehicles (7.4 percent).
Increases were seen in purchases from China (25.5 percent), OPEC countries (33.9 percent), the US (16 percent), Germany (10.2 percent); France (2.1 percent), Belgium (30 percent), the Netherlands (2.4 percent), Spain (0.3 percent) and the UK (8.3 percent).
Exports rose at a slower 9.6 percent to EUR 43.72 billion from EUR 39.88 billion in October 2017, mainly due to sales of: machinery and equipment (10 percent); other transport means (13.7 percent); food products (9.8 percent); pharmaceuticals (45 percent); metals (8.9 percent); chemicals & chemical products (12.7 percent); electrical devices (4.6 percent) and electronics (6.1 percent). In contrast, shipments declined for crude oil (-98.9 percent); natural gas (-59.9 percent) and vehicles (-8.1 percent).
Exports went up mostly to the US (22.3 percent), Switzerland (16.2 percent), OPEC countries (10.8 percent), China (1.4 percent), ASEAN countries (5.8 percent), Germany (7.7 percent) and France (4.6 percent). Conversely, sales decreased to Turkey (-23.7 percent) and MERCOSUR countries (-14.9 percent).
With the European Union countries, Italy's trade surplus widened to EUR 0.744 billion in October from EUR 0.635 billion in the same month of the previous year.
Considering the January to October period of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 32.27 billion from EUR 37.89 billion in October 2017, as imports grew 5.9 percent to EUR 353.58 billion and exports advanced at a slower 3.8 percent to EUR 385.85 billion.