The French trade deficit widened to EUR 4.2 billion in January 2019 from a revised EUR 3.6 billion in the previous month, compared to market expectations of a EUR 4.9 billion gap.
Exports declined 1 percent from a month earlier to EUR 42.5 billion in January as sales decreased mostly for coke and refined petroleum products (-30.2 percent), natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (-13 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (-3.4 percent) and automotive industry products (-2.6 percent). Meanwhile, exports rose for mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (3.3 percent) and agribusiness products (3.3 percent).
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Among major trading partners, exports fell mostly to the EU (-0.4 percent), Asia (-6.2 percent), America (-2.3 percent) and Africa (-12 percent), but rose to the Middle East (76.5 percent).
Imports increased 0.4 percent to EUR 46.7 billion in January, driven by purchases of natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (15.2 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (2.9 percent), coke and refined petroleum products (2.8 percent) and agribusiness products (1.9 percent). By contrast, there were declines in imports of automotive industry products (-5.7 percent) and mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (-0.6 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports rose mainly from the EU (2.2 percent), Asia (0.8 percent), Africa (4.4 percent) and the Middle East (2.7 percent), but fell from America (-11.1 percent).