Euro zone trade surplus surges y/y in Feb

By Thomson Reuters Apr 16, 2024 | 4:05 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s trade surplus surged year-on-year in February as a result of a sharp drop in imports, mainly of energy and raw materials, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

Eurostat said the seasonally unadjusted external trade surplus of the 20 countries using the euro surged to 23.6 billion euros in February from 3.6 billion a year earlier, as imports fell 8.4% year-on-year while export edged 0.3% higher.

The European Union as a whole saw energy imports drop 18.2% year-on-year in February, producing a trade deficit in energy of only 28.2 billion euros, compared to 35.4 billion in Feb 2023.

The deficit in trade in raw materials also more than halved to 1.5 billion euros from 3.3 billion a year earlier.

At he same time the trade surplus of machinery and vehicles jumped to 24.6 billion from 18.1 billion 12 months earlier.

The EU’s trade surplus with its biggest trading partner, the United States, rose to 15 billion euros in February from 13 billion a year earlier and with the second biggest China it narrowed to 20.5 billion euros from 22.5 billion.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the euro zone trade surplus was 17.9 billion euros.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)