Seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €451 million (-4 percent) to €9,876 million compared with August 2016 while imports increased by €380 million (+7 percent) to €6,107 million.
Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports rose €596 million, or 6 percent, to €10,034 million, due to higher sales of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (+128 percent); organic chemicals (+27 percent); medical and pharmaceutical products (+12 percent).
The EU accounted for €5,180 million, or 52 percent, of total goods exports in September 2016 of which €1,181 million went to Belgium and €1,145 million to Great Britain. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,639 million, or 26 percent, of total exports. Exports to the EU decreased by €190 million, or 4 percent, compared with September 2015; while non-EU exports increased by €786 million, or 19 percent, over the same period.
Meanwhile, imports rose by €153 million, or 3 percent, to €5,916 million compared with September 2015, mainly due to higher purchases of organic chemicals (+49 percent) and other transport equipment (+34 percent) while imports of machinery specialised for particular industries decreased by 43 percent.
The EU accounted for 63 percent of the value of goods imports in September 2016, with €1,305 million, or 22 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €824 million, or 14 percent, and China with €351 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. Imports from the EU increased by €332 million, or 10 percent, compared with September 2015. Non-EU imports decreased by €180 million, or 8 percent, over the same period.
In the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €34.7 billion from €31.8 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 5 percent and imports rose 2.5 percent.