Euro zone swings to trade deficit in Nov due to energy bill

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BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The euro zone swung to a small trade deficit in November from a large surplus 12 months earlier because of a surge in the cost of imported oil and gas, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Friday.

Eurostat said the non-adjusted trade deficit of the 19 countries sharing the euro was 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion)compared to a 25.0 billion euro surplus in November 2020. Payments for imports jumped 32.0%, while revenues from exports grew by only 14.4%.

Data for the whole 27-nation European Union showed the trade deficit for energy rose by 68% to 241.7 billion euros in the January-November period.

During the same period the EU’s trade deficit with Russia, which supplies a third of Europe’s oil and 40% of its natural gas, was more than four times higher at 60.4 billion euros from 13.7 billion in January-November 2020.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the euro zone trade deficit was 1.3 billion euros in November after a 1.8 billion euro surplus in October.

($1 = 0.8727 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

Photo – EPA/BORIS ROESSLER

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