EU posts $11.5B trade deficit in Jan-July


European Union’s foreign trade balance saw a €10.2 billion ($11.5 billion) deficit in the first seven months of 2019, the bloc’s statistical office revealed on Friday.

According to Eurostat, trade deficit rose by 409% year-on-year in the January-July period, from €2 billion ($2.4 billion) in the same period last year.

Exports from the EU increased by 4.5% to €1.18 trillion ($1.33 trillion), while imports were €1.19 trillion ($1.34 trillion), up 5.2%, in seven months on an annual basis.

Intra-EU28 trade rose 2.3% to reach €2.1 trillion ($2.37 trillion) year-on-year in the same period.

The U.S. was the bloc’s main trade partner, with €169.8 billion ($191.9 billion) imports from the union and €206.6 billion ($233.45 billion) in exports.

By export volume, China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey followed the U.S. in the same period, said EuroStat.

China was the top source of EU imports with €237.8 billion ($268.7 billion), followed by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.

Country-to-country trade balances indicated that the EU incurred the largest deficit with China — nearly €109.2 billion ($123.4 billion) — and the highest surplus with the U.S. — €90.9 billion ($102.7 billion) over the same period.

Turkey posted a €4.9-billion ($5.5-billion) trade surplus with the EU, exporting €42.3 billion ($47.7 billion) and importing €47.2 billion ($53.3 billion).

Meanwhile, in the same period, the eurozone posted a €126.1 billion ($142.5 billion) trade surplus, by exporting €1.37 billion ($1.54 billion) and importing €1.24 billion ($1.4 billion).

The Eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents the member states that use the single currency — the euro — while the EU28 defines all member countries of the bloc.

The average Euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate was 1.13 in the first seven months of the year, down from 1.20 at the same point last year.

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