Exports jumped 21 percent from a year earlier to EUR 12.61 billion in February, boosted by sales of organic chemicals (68 percent), medical and pharmaceutical products (9 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (32 percent), and office machinery and automatic data processing machines (35 percent).
The EU accounted for EUR 63.10 billion, or 48 percent, of total goods exports of which EUR 1.63 billion went to Belgium and EUR 0.94 billion went to Germany. Exports to the EU advanced 12 percent year-on-year and those to Great Britain increased 16 percent to EUR 1.22 billion, accounting for 10 percent of total exports. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.72 billion, or 29 percent, of total exports.
Meanwhile, imports fell 1 percent from a year earlier to EUR 6.36 billion, mainly due to lower purchases of other transport equipment, including aircraft (-20 percent), and medical and pharmaceutical products (-37 percent); while imports of food and live animals rose 14 percent.
The EU accounted for EUR 3.98 billion, or 63 percent, of total goods imports, which was a decrease of 2 percent compared with February 2018. Meanwhile, imports from Great Britain increased 19 percent to EUR 1.64 billion compared with February 2018. The main increases were in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and machinery and transport equipment. Imports from Great Britain were 26 percent of the value of total imports. The US with EUR 1.02 billion, or 16 percent, and China with EUR 0.34 billion, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.
Considering the first two months of the year, the trade surplus widened sharply to EUR 13.23 billion from EUR 9.55 billion in the same period of 2018.