By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Foreign trade balance of the European Union saw a deficit of €13 billion ($15.6 billion) in January-August this year, according to the EU's statistical office on Tuesday.
In the eight-month period, the 28-member bloc's exports of goods rose by 4.2 percent year-on-year to reach nearly €1.286 trillion ($1.544 trillion), while imports from the rest of the world totaled some €1.299 trillion ($1.560 trillion) with an annual hike of 5.3 percent.
Eurostat noted that intra-EU28 trade were €2.32 trillion in the same period, up 5.7 percent on a yearly basis.
This January to August, one euro was exchanged for $1.20 on average, while the average EUR/USD exchange rate was 1.10 over the same period last year.
Official figures showed that more than 20 percent of the EU's eight-month exports went to the U.S., amounting €265 billion ($318 billion) and making the country top export market for the bloc.
Following the U.S., the EU’s other main export destinations were China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey in the same period.
With some €252 billion ($302 billion) or 19.4 percent of total imports, China was the top source for the EU, followed by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.
On the country-to-country trade balance side, the bloc saw the largest deficit with China -- around €116 billion ($139 billion) --, and the highest surplus with the U.S. some €90 billion ($108 billion) in the first eight months of 2018.