Seasonally adjusted exports decreased by €1,154 million, or 11 percent, to €8,918 million in July from €10,072 million in June while imports fell by €644 million, or 11 percent, to €5,392 million from €6,036 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports went down €292 million, or 3 percent, to €9,121 million, due to lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-23 percent) and essential oils (-12 percent) while exports rose for organic chemicals (+47 percent) and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (+202 percent).
The EU accounted for €4,464 million (49 percent) of total goods exports in July 2016 of which €1,056 million went to Belgium and €1,075 million to Great Britain. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,144 million (24 percent) of total exports in July 2016. Exports to the EU decreased by 13 percent year-on-year, while non-EU exports increased by 9 percent over the same period.
Meanwhile, imports dropped by €772 million, or 13 percent, to €4,993 million compared with July 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of petroleum (-35 percent); while imports rose for organic chemicals (+70 percent) and medical and pharmaceutical products (+44 percent).
The EU accounted for 61 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,206 million (24 percent) of total imports coming from Great Britain. The US with €658 million (13 percent) and China with €338 million (7 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports. Imports from the EU decreased by 8 percent year-on-year and non-EU imports fell by 20 percent over the same period.
In the first seven months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €27.7 billion from €24.5 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 3 percent to €65.9 billion while imports contracted 4 percent to €38.2 billion.