Exports advanced 3.4 percent from a year earlier to EUR 37,499 billion in February, mainly due to sales of: machinery and equipment (2.5 percent); textiles, clothing and leather (8.8 percent); transport equipment (8.1 percent); basic metals and metal products (3.6 percent); food, beverages & tobacco (9.7 percent) and rubber and plastic products, other non-metallic mineral products (2.8 percent).
Exports rose mostly to the US (20.6 percent); Germany (3.1 percent); France (0.7 percent); the UK (19.6 percent) and Switzerland (16.5 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to Spain (-2.3 percent); OPEC (-1.1 percent) and Turkey (-28.9 percent).
Imports increased at a softer 3.3 percent to EUR 34,231 billion, led by gains in purchases of: basic metals and metal products (7.8 percent); machinery and equipment (3.5 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (24.2 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (2.6 percent).
The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Germany (1.7 percent); China (4.9 percent); the US (22.3 percent); the Netherlands (1.7 percent) and Belgium (18.9 percent). By contrast, imports fell from France (-2.2 percent) and OPEC (-13.9 percent).
With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus narrowed slightly to EUR 1,112 billion from EUR 1,124 billion in February 2018.