Year-on-year, imports jumped 10.5 percent to EUR 33.43 billion from EUR 30.25 billion, led by gains in purchases of: Natural gas (28.6 percent); basic metals and metal products (20.7 percent); rubber and plastic products (15 percent); electrical appliances (14.1 percent); and computer, electronic and optical devices (12.9 percent). Meanwhile, imports of coke and refined petroleum products fell 10.4 percent.
The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Poland (35 percent), Czech Republic (22.5 percent), Turkey (19 percent), China (14.7 percent) and Austria (14.6 percent).
Exports rose 5.1 percent to EUR 40.00 billion from EUR 38.04 billion in July 2016, boosted by higher sales of: Pharmaceutical, chemical and botanical articles (22.8 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (21.2 percent); vehicles (14 percent); sport articles (8.5 percent); and chemicals (7.9 percent). By contrast, exports of transport equipment fell 10.3 percent.
The biggest increases in shipments were reported for Russia (16.3 percent); the Netherlands (15.4 percent); China (15.3 percent); Belgium (14.8 percent); and ASEAN countries (11.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell mainly to Turkey (-4.8 percent).
With European Union countries, Italy registered a July trade surplus of EUR 2.03 billion, compared with a surplus of EUR 2.91 billion a year ago.