Exports grew 7.7 percent year-on-year to EUR 20.71 billion in August 2018 from EUR 19.24 billion a year earlier, mostly due to higher sales of energy products (32.0 percent); non-chemical semi-manufactured products (22.2 percent); other goods (20.2 percent); chemicals (7.0 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (6.9 percent); vehicle parts & accessories (6.0 percent) and consumption goods (4.8 percent). On the other hand, exports dropped for equipment goods (-3.9 percent); raw materials (-3.1 percent).
Among major trade partners, exports advanced mainly from Italy (24.6 percent), the UK (15.1 percent), Portugal (14.2 percent), France (6.4 percent) and the US (1.8 percent).
Imports went up 5.8 percent to EUR 23.77 billion from EUR 22.46 in the same month a year ago, driven by purchases of energy products (44.6 percent); chemicals (11.8 percent); non-chemical semi-manufactured products (9.6 percent); other goods (12.2 percent) and consumption goods (3.2 percent). Meanwhile, purchases fell for equipment goods (-7.4 percent); vehicles (-6.9 percent); raw materials (-5.5 percent) and food , beverages and tobacco (-4.3 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports rose mostly from Italy (19.9 percent), the UK (16.2 percent), Portugal (5.3 percent), China (4.1 percent) and France (1.8 percent).
Considering the January to July period of 2018, the trade deficit decreased by 27.3 percent from the prior year to EUR 20.89 billion, as imports advanced 6.1 percent to EUR 210.88 billion and exports increased 4.2 percent to EUR 189.99 billion.