Exports went up 6.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 36.3 billion, mainly boosted by higher sales of machines and equipment (+7.1 percent); base metals and metal products, excluding machines and plants (+11.3 percent); electrical appliances (+12.3 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (+7.4 percent).
Exports increased to both EU countries (+8 percent) and non-EU countries (+4.8 percent), namely to Germany (12.1 percent); France (9.2 percent); the US (6 percent); Switzerland (11.2 percent and the UK (7 percent). Exports declined to OPEC countries (-6 percent) and Belgium (-2 percent).
Imports surged 9.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 33.3 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of intermediate goods (12.3 percent); consumer goods (4.3 percent); capital goods (7.6 percent) and energy (18.5 percent). Imports rose from non-EU (+11.4 percent) and EU countries (8.3 percent), namely from Germany (16.1 percent), France (15.4 percent) and OPEC countries (29.1 percent). In contrast, purchases fell from the US (-3.3 percent) and Switzerland (-11 percent).
Considering the first four months of the year, sales rose 4.1 percent and imports 4.2 percent. The trade surplus reached EUR 10.47 billion.