The European Union foreign trade balance saw a deficit of €8.3 billion ($10.2 billion) this January to April, EU statistics office Eurostat announced on Friday.
In the first four months of this year, the EU’s exports of goods totaled €625.7 billion ($769.6 billion), up 2.7 percent on a yearly basis, while imports from the rest of the world totaled €634 billion ($779.8 billion), rising 2.3 year-on-year.
"As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €8.3 billion, compared with €10.4 billion in January-April 2017," Eurostat said. "Intra-EU28 trade rose to €1.16 trillion in January-April 2018, plus 5.2 percent compared with January-April 2017."
The January-April average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.23 this year, while one euro was trading for 1.06 U.S. dollar on average during the same period last year.
According to the official data, the U.S. is the top export market for the EU with €130.7 billion ($160.7 billion), accounting for nearly 21 percent of the bloc's total exports this January to April.
China, Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia followed the U.S. in the list of the EU’s major export markets in the same period.
The 28 member countries imported the most from China -- €121.4 billion ($149.3 billion), or some 19 percent of total imports -- followed by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.
In country-to-country figures, the EU28 saw the highest trade surplus with the U.S. -- €45.4 billion ($55.8 billion) -- and the largest trade deficit with China -- €56.9 billion ($69.9 billion) -- in the four-month period.
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas