Exports decreased by EUR 849 million, or 8 percent, from the previous year to EUR 10,353 million, due to lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-10 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (-39 percent) and organic chemicals (-11 percent). By contrast, exports of food and live animals rose 9 percent, boosted by sales of live animals, meat and meat preparations and dairy products and birds’ eggs.
The EU accounted for EUR 5,018 million, or 48 percent, of total goods exports in November, a decrease of EUR 535 million, or 10 percent, compared with a year ago. Exports to Belgium were EUR 836 million and to Germany were EUR 684 million. Exports to the UK decreased by EUR 310 million, or 19 percent, to EUR 1,290 million. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 2,799 million, or 27 percent, of total exports.
Meanwhile, imports fell by EUR 855 million, or 12 percent, to EUR 6,381 million compared with November 2016. Purchases of organic chemicals fell 28 percent, while those of mineral fuels increased 17 percent, particularly petroleum and gas.
The EU accounted for 62 percent of the value of goods imports in November. Total EU imports of EUR 3,961 million represents an increase of EUR 14 million compared with November 2016. Imports from the UK increased by EUR 130 million, or 9 percent, to EUR 1,617 million in November. The US with EUR 1,027 million, or 16 percent, and China with EUR 433 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries was EUR 2,421 million, a decrease of EUR 869 million, or 26 percent.
In January to November, the trade surplus narrowed slightly to EUR 42.18 billion from EUR 42.32 billion in the same period of 2016, as imports rose 2 percent to EUR 69.07 billion while exports advanced at a slower 1 percent to EUR 111.25 billion. Imports from the UK for the year-to-date were 9 percent higher than the same period in 2016 and exports to the UK were 8 percent higher.