Exports rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier to EUR 35.70 billion in January, mainly due to sales of: pharmaceuticals (19.2 percent); machinery (6.2 percent); metals (5.2 percent); food products (5.9 percent); leather goods (8.3 percent); other manufactured goods (10 percent); and electrical devices (3.9 percent). By contrast, exports of coke and refined petroleum products plunged 28.6 percent and those of vehicles dropped 16.4 percent.
Exports rose mostly to the US (18 percent), Switzerland (13 percent), France (3.3 percent), the UK (6.1 percent), Germany (1.7 percent), the Netherlands (5.8 percent) and Romania (9.4 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to OPEC (-19 percent), Turkey (-26.6 percent) and Poland (-10.1 percent).
Imports increased at a softer 1.7 percent to EUR 35.38 billion, led by gains in purchases of: natural gas (55 percent); metals (8.4 percent); pharmaceuticals (6.2 percent), other means of transport (9.1 percent), machinery (4.3 percent), electrical devices (5.9 percent) and other manufactured goods (9.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports of crude oil and vehicles slumped 22.1 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.
The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Russia (30.7 percent), China (8.9 percent), France (5.7 percent), the US (13.4 percent), ASEAN (11.9 percent), Turkey (11.9 percent) and MERCOSUR (20.8 percent). By contrast, imports fell from OPEC (-18.5 percent), Belgium (-10 percent) and Germany (-1.5 percent).
With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus widened to EUR 0.907 billion from EUR 0.434 billion in January 2018.