Germany, Italy push euro zone into trade surplus in Feb

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BRUSSELS, April 20 (Reuters) – The euro zone swung to a trade surplus in February from a deficit a year earlier, non-adjusted data showed on Thursday, mainly thanks to a jump in exports of chemicals and machinery and the bulk of the improvement coming from Germany and Italy.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said the seasonally unadjusted trade balance of the 20 countries sharing the euro was 4.6 billion euros in February against a deficit of 9.4 billion 12 months earlier.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the February trade balance was a small deficit of 100 million euros, but a huge improvement on the 11.6 billion deficit the previous month.

Seasonally adjusted, Germany contributed 20.3 billion euros to the overall euro zone trade balance in February, up from a 15.6 billion contribution in January, while Italy added 3.6 billion euros, up from 3.4 billion the month before.

The euro zone’s surplus in chemicals trade rose to 34.2 billion euros in January-February from 27.3 billion in the same period a year earlier and increased to 20.3 billion in machinery and vehicles from 17.5 billion a year earlier, data showed.

The EU’s trade deficit with Russia fell sharply to 6.9 billion euros in the first two months of this year from 26.8 billion euros a year earlier as the 27-nation bloc stopped buying much of the Russian oil and gas it imported before Moscow invaded Ukraine at the end of February 2022.

The EU’s trade gap with China also narrowed to 53 billion in January-February from 60.4 billion in the first two months of 2022.

Euro zone trade – non seasonally adjusted data

(all figures billions euros, unless stated):

FlowsFeb 22Feb 23GrowthJan-Feb 22Jan-Feb 23Growth
Extra-EA exports216.2232.77.6%417.0455.39.2%
Extra-EA imports225.6228.11.1%456.7482.45.6%
Extra-EA trade balance-9.44.6-39.7-27.0
Intra-EA trade207.7224.48.0%408.2450.410.3%

Euro zone trade – seasonally adjusted data

(all figures billions euros, unless stated):

FlowsMar 22Apr 22May 22Jun 22Jul 22Aug 22Sep 22Oct 22Nov 22Dec 22Jan 23Feb 23
Extra-EA exports227.5232.6242.7241.5235.7246.5249.7246.5251.2244.0241.0243.9
Extra-EA imports250.1266.2270.7273.7277.0292.6285.3275.0265.6257.1252.6243.9
Extra-EA trade balance-22.6-33.7-28.0-32.2-41.3-46.1-35.5-28.5-14.5-13.1-11.6-0.1
Intra-EA trade218.6225.7232.0230.1234.5246.5244.6235.4237.0238.2230.7232.3

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