Exports decreased 3.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 29.790 billion in August, the lowest since August 2017, dragged down by lower shipments of machinery and appliances (-7.8 percent); textiles, clothing and leather products (-0.7 percent) and transport equipment (-10 percent). On the other hand, sales rose for basic metals and metal products, except machinery and equipment (+1.3 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (+3.7 percent) and pharmaceuticals and botanical articles (+32 percent).
Among major trading partners, sales dropped to Germany (-7.5 percent); France (-5.9 percent); the UK (-4.7 percent) and OPEC countries (-6.8 percent) while those to the US (+0.8 percent) and Switzerland (+24.9 percent) increased.
Imports slumped 4.1 percent from a year earlier to EUR 27.204 billion, the lowest since August 2017, mainly due to a decline in purchases of textiles, clothing and leather products (-2.9 percent); basic metals and metal products except machinery and equipment (-8.1 percent); crude oil (-1.4 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (-0.7 percent).
Imports went down mainly from Germany (-5.4 percent); China (-1.5 percent); France (-4 percent); OPEC countries (-21.4 percent) and Russia (-14.8 percent).
With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 259 billion from EUR 745 billion in August 2018.