Italy Trade Surplus Widens In December


Italy's trade surplus rose to €5.80 billion in December 2016 from €5.59 billion in the same month of the previous year and better than market expectations of €4.0 billion. Exports increased by 5.7 percent to €36.2 billion, led by higher purchases of coke and refined petroleum products and vehicles; while imports grew by 6.1 percent to €30.4 billion, as purchases of vehicles and machinery and equipment rose the most.

Year-on-year, exports rose 5.7 percent to €36.21 billion from €34.26 billion, boosted by higher sales of: Coke and refined petroleum products (21.8 percent); vehicles (21.3 percent); sport goods, games, musical instruments and other products (12.3 percent); substances and chemicals (11 percent); and base metals (9.7 percent). By contrast, exports fell for transport equipment (-17 percent). By main industrial groups, sales rose for: Energy (24.5 percent); intermediate goods (6.5 percent); capital goods (4.8 percent); and consumer goods (4.3 percent).

The biggest increases in shipments were reported for China (20.9 percent); MERCOSUR countries (19.9 percent); Poland (19.1 percent); the US (12.1 percent); and Germany (10.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to the Netherlands (-3.9 percent), Romania (-3.7 percent) and Switzerland (-3.5 percent).

Imports increased 6.1 percent to €30.42 billion from €32.90 billion in December 2015, led by gains in purchases of: Vehicles (29.3 percent); machinery and equipment (25 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (21.8 percent); crude oil (16.4 percent); and base metals (13.3 percent). Meanwhile, imports dropped for: transport equipment (-21 percent); and natural gas (-6.6 percent). By main industrial groups, purchases rose for: Capital goods (9.8 percent); energy (8.2 percent); intermediate goods (4.2 percent); and consumer goods (3.6 percent).

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from OPEC countries (67.7 percent), Turkey (29.7 percent), ASEAN countries (24.4 percent), MERCOSUR countries (17 percent) and Czech Republic (12.8 percent). By contrast, imports declined the most from the UK (-16.1 percent), China (-5 percent) and Romania (-2.6 percent).

With European Union countries, Italy registered a trade surplus of €0.12 billion, compared with a deficit of €0.30 billion euros in December 2015.

Considering the full year of 2016, the global trade surplus widened sharply to a record high of €51.57 billion from €41.81 billion in 2015. Exports grew 1.1 percent to €417.0 billion, due to higher sales of pharmaceutical products and medicines (6.8 percent), motor vehicles (6.3 percent), transport equipment (4.6 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (4.2 percent). Exports went up to Japan (9.6 percent), China and Czech Republic (6.4 percent both), Spain (6.1 percent) and Germany (3.8 percent). Meanwhile, imports shrank 1.4 percent to €365.4 billion, due to lower purchases of natural gas (-28.5 percent) and crude oil (-20.4 percent). The drop in imports was mainly determined by purchases from Russia (-26.3 percent).

Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
2/16/2017 11:20:35 AM