Imports climbed 13.1 percent from a year earlier to an all-time high of EUR 30.25 billion in October, boosted by purchases of energy products (61.5 percent), chemicals (10.9 percent), manufactured goods (5.7 percent), capital goods (5 percent), vehicles (3.4 percent) and food, beverages & tobacco (4 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports increased from the Euro Area (6 percent), in particular from Italy (14 percent), Portugal (9.4 percent), the Netherlands (7.2 percent), Germany (5.8 percent) and France (2.4 percent). Imports also grew from China (15 percent) and the UK (0.8 percent), but fell from the US (-0.1 percent).
Exports rose at a softer 9 percent to EUR 26.41 billion in October, driven by sales of energy products (27.8 percent), capital goods (13.9 percent), non-chemical semi-manufactured products (12.6 percent) chemicals (9.7 percent), vehicles (3.7 percent), food, beverages & tobacco (2.5 percent) and manufactured goods (2.4 percent).
Among major trading partners, there were gains in exports to the Euro Area (9.5 percent), namely to the Netherlands (27.5 percent), France (14.1 percent), Portugal (12.5 percent), Italy (7.6 percent) and Germany (1.4 percent). Sales also rose to the UK (25.2 percent) and the US (14 percent).
Considering January to October, the trade deficit widened to EUR 28.02 billion from EUR 22.26 billion in the same period of 2017 as imports advanced 6.3 percent to an all-time high of EUR 266.60 billion and exports increased 3.8 percent also to a record EUR 238.58 billion.