Year-on-year, exports fell 2.8 percent to €34.00 billion from €34.98 billion, dragged by lower sales of: Transport equipment (-13.2 percent); other products of the processing of non-metallic minerals (-10.8 percent); textiles (-10.5 percent); paper and paper products, media printing and reproduction products (-9.8 percent); and computer, electronic and optical devices (-9.3 percent). In contrast, exports of coke and refined petroleum products jumped 57.7 percent.
The biggest decreases in shipments were reported for OPEC countries (-17.7 percent); the US (-9.6 percent); the UK (-8 percent); Turkey (-7.9 percent); and Switzerland (-6.8 percent). Meanwhile, sales rose to Russia (13.5 percent), Japan (7 percent) and China (5.5 percent).
Imports edged down 0.2 percent to €30.41 billion from €30.47 billion in April 2016, led by falls in purchases of: Transport equipment (-18.5 percent); clothing (-9.7 percent); and vehicles (-8.7 percent). Meanwhile, imports increased for: Natural gas (42.7 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (37 percent); and crude oil (32.8 percent).
The drop in imports mainly reflected the decrease in purchases from Japan (-48.2 percent), Czech Republic (-11.2 percent), and France (-11.2 percent). By contrast, imports grew the most from India (21.1 percent), Turkey (16.9 percent) and Russia (13.8 percent).
With European Union countries, the trade surplus widened to EUR 1.05 billion from EUR 0.91 billion in April 2016.