Seasonally adjusted exports declined by €99 million to €€9,168 million in May from €9,267 million in April while imports jumped €342 million to €5,206 million from €4,864 million, preliminary figures showed.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports went down €257 million or 3 percent to €8,923 million, dragged lower by a fall in sales of food and live animals (-8 percent) while exports of organic chemicals (+19 percent) and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (+127 percent) rose. The EU accounted for €4,643 million (52 percent) of total goods exports in May 2016 of which €1,126 million went to Belgium and €1,051 million to Great Britain. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,605 million (29 percent) of total exports in May 2016.
Meanwhile, imports dropped by €408 million or 7 percent to €5,127 million compared with May 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-19 percent) and machinery specialised for particular industries (-28 percent); while imports of road vehicles rose by 49 percent. The EU accounted for 62 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,237 million (24 percent) of total imports coming from Great Britain. The US with €587 million (11 percent) and China with €304 million (6 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports.
In the first five months of the year, exports advanced 1 percent while imports contracted 8 percent compared with the same period last year.