World Bulletin / News Desk
The EU’s foreign trade balance saw a deficit of €17.1 billion ($21.03 billion) in the first two months of this year, EU statistics agency Eurostat announced on Friday.
In January and February, the EU’s exports of goods totaled €299.7 billion ($368.6 billion), up 4 percent year-on-year, while imports from the rest of the world stood at €316.8 billion ($389.6 billion), up 3.6 percent annually.
"As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €17.1 billion, compared with €17.5 billion in January-February 2017," Eurostat said. "Intra-EU28 trade rose to €567.2 billion in January-February 2018, plus 6.6 percent compared with January-February 2017."
The two-month average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.23 this year, while €1 was trading for $1.06 on average over the same period last year.
The statistical authority also said the U.S. is the top export market for the EU with exports amounting to €61.7 billion ($75.9 billion), accounting for 20.58 percent of the 28 countries’ exports in January and February.
China, Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia came after the U.S. in the list of the EU’s main export markets, according to official data.
Over the same period, EU states imported the most from China -- €65.4 billion ($80.4 billion), or 20.64 percent of total imports -- followed by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.
Looking at the country-to-country trade balance, the 28-member EU bloc recorded the highest surplus with the U.S. -- €21.3 billion ($26.2 billion) -- and the largest deficit with China -- €35.2 billion ($43.3 billion) -- this January and February.
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