Exports increased 2.8 percent year-on-year to €19.86 billion in February.
Sales to the European Union and the Euro Area increased 5.1 percent and 7.1 percent respectively, accounting for 65.7 percent and 51.8 percent respectively of total exports. Shipments to France (+7.8 percent), Germany (+3. Percent), Portugal (+6.4 percent), the Netherlands (+7.1 percent) and Ireland (+102.4 percent) drove the increase. Outside Europe, sales dropped 1.5 percent.
Exports from the auto sector jumped 16.2 percent; food beverages and tobacco went up 4.8 percent; consumption goods (+7 percent) and chemicals (+3.5 percent).
Imports rose 4.5 percent to €21.89 billion in February.
Excluding energy, the trade balance recorded a €0.38 billion surplus.