Imports rocket and exports stagnate. Trade deficit worsens to 500 million euros

  • ECO News
  • 9 June 2017

In April, exports remained virtually the same and imports rocketed towards the European Union's external market. The trade deficit worsened to 500 million euros.

Imports soared at a more accentuated pace than exports in April, contrary to the tendency registered in the first quarter of 2017. “In April 2017, exports and imports of goods recorded year-on-year nominal growth rates of +0.4% and +10.8% respectively”, Statistics Portugal (INE) discloses. Import’s increased rhythm — which has been taking place since October, 2016 — happened in trade partners such as Spain, China and Germany, mainly in fuel and lubricants.

Exports of goods decreased 2.3% and imports of goods increased 6.1%, excluding fuels and lubricants. “In April 2017, for both exports and imports the emphasis was clearly on the increases in Fuels and lubricants (corresponding to +55.1% and +63.7% respectively), in large part due to the impact of the increase in prices”, INE explains.

On the downside, the highlight goes to the decrease in consumer goods’ exports (-9.6%) and transport equipments (-8.2%). This short upturn in the exports of goods hadn’t been seen since last October, when there was a negative variation. Exports increased mainly to EU’s external market, but shrunk 3.9% in the European Union’s domestic market, which represents the largest exports share of Portuguese goods; exports decreased this month to Spain, France, Germany and the UK, the four major markets.

As for imports of goods, the largest increases happened in Spain (+2.6%), Germany (+6.0%) and China (+25.6%). In addition, there was a large growth growth in imports outside the European Union, which increased 45.6% (444 million euros), “reflecting in most part the impact of the increase in imports of Fuels and lubricants, specially the prices evolution”, INE states.

In April 2017, “the deficit of trade balance reached EUR 1,239 million, which stood for an increase of EUR 509 million compared with April 2016”, is also stated in the International Trade Statistics.