Exports increased 1 percent from the previous year to EUR 10.31 billion in February, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (18 percent) and organic chemicals (8 percent). By contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances dropped 47 percent.
Exports to the EU rose 7 percent to EUR 5.34 billion in February. They accounted for 52 percent of total goods exports, of which EUR 1.54 billion went to Belgium and EUR 0.80 billion to Germany. Exports to Great Britain, however, fell by 9 percent to EUR 1.05 billion compared with the same month last year. The decrease was led by chemicals and related products, and machinery and transport equipment. The US was the largest export destination accounting for EUR 2.91 billion, or 28 percent, of total exports.
Imports also rose 1 percent to EUR 6.37 billion compared with February 2017, as purchases grew for mineral fuels (8 percent) and medical and pharmaceutical products (42 percent). On the other hand, imports of other transport equipment, including aircraft dropped 26 percent.
Imports from the EU increased 5 percent to EUR 4.02 billion, accounting for 63 percent of total imports. Imports from Great Britain rose 9 percent to EUR 1.35 billion, boosted by food and live animals, mineral fuels and machinery and transport equipment. The US with EUR 985 million, or 15 percent, and China with EUR 375 million, or 6 percent, were the largest non-EU sources of imports.
In the first two months of the year, the trade surplus widened to EUR 9.48 billion from EUR 7.96 billion in the same period of 2017.