Economy, Europe

EU trade balance posts $26.7B deficit in 2018

Last year, 28-member bloc's exports total nearly $2.31 trillion, imports some $2.33 trillion

EU trade balance posts $26.7B deficit in 2018

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas


The EU's foreign trade balance saw a €22.6 billion ($26.7 billion) deficit in 2018, according to official figures released on Friday.

Eurostat said the 28-member bloc's exports of goods rose 4 percent on a yearly basis, amounting to nearly €1.95 trillion ($2.31 trillion) last year.

The EU's imports from the rest of the world totaled some €1.97 trillion ($2.33 trillion), climbing 6.5 percent year-on-year.

The intra-EU28 trade saw annual growth of 4.8 percent to reach around €3.51 trillion ($4.15 trillion) over the same period.

One euro was exchanged for $1.18 on average in 2018, while the previous year the average EUR/USD exchange rate was 1.13.

Last year, the U.S. was the top market for EU exporters with some €406 billion ($479 billion) or 20.8 percent of the bloc's total exports, followed by China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey.

On the imports side, China was the main source for the EU with €394 billion ($465 billion), accounting for 19.9 percent of total imports.

Following China, the EU's other major import partners were the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.

In 2018, the bloc's trade balance saw its largest deficit with China -- €184 billion ($217 billion) -- and the biggest surplus with the U.S., with nearly €140 billion ($165 billion).

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