European and international trade in goods: depressing situation

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New Eurostat’s data has shown that deficit in international trade in goods for the euro area reached €30.6 bn by the start of 2023, with the total deficit of €34.6 bn for the whole EU-27.

Situation in the euro area states*)
The estimates for euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world in January 2023 were €222.9 billion, an increase of 11.0% compared with January 2022 (€200.8 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €253.5 bn, a rise of 9.7% compared with January 2022 (€231.1 bn).
As a result, the euro area recorded a €30.6 bn deficit in trade in goods with the rest of the world in January 2023, compared with – €30.2 bn in January 2022. However, intra-euro area trade rose to €223.8 bn in January 2023, up by 11.6% compared with January 2022.
During the whole 2022, euro area’s exports of goods to the rest of the world rose to €2 868.4 bn (an increase of 18.0% compared with 2021), and imports rose to €3 201.9 bn (an increase of 37.7% compared to 2021).
As a result the euro area recorded a deficit of €333.5 bn, compared with a surplus of €105.3 bn in 2021. Whereas intra-euro area trade rose to €2 764.3 bn during 2022, up by 24.7% compared with 2021.
Thus, international trade in goods in euro area by the end of 2022-beginning of 2023 decreased to about 10 percent, from its peak values of over 55 percent or imports in the start of 2022 and about 30 percent for exports.

    *) Note. Up to 31 December 2022, the euro area included 19 states: Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. From 1January 2023 the euro area includes 20 states, when Croatia joined the club.

Situation in the EU-27
As to the EU-27, an estimate for extra-EU exports of goods in January 2023 was €198.6 billion, up by 10.6% compared with January 2022 (€179.6 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €233.3 bn, up by 7.0% compared with January 2022 (€218.1 bn).
As a result, the EU-27 recorded a €34.6 bn deficit in trade in goods with the rest of the world in January 2023, compared with a deficit of €38.6 bn in January 2022. Intra-EU trade rose to €345.7 bn in January 2023, with a 12.1% surplus, compared with January 2022.
During 2022, extra-EU exports of goods rose to €2 572.3 bn (an increase of 17.9% compared with 2021), and imports rose to €3 004.4 bn (an increase of 41.3% compared with 2021).
As a result, the EU recorded a deficit of €432.1 bn, compared with a surplus of €55.0 bn in 2021. Intra-EU trade rose to €4 227.3 bn during 2022, which is +22.8% compared with 2021.

In January 2023, compared with January 2022, all EU member states registered increases in extra-EU exports except four member states: Estonia (-18.1%), Ireland (-11.9%), Malta (-6.1%) and Romania (-1.3%). The highest increases were registered in Slovenia (+ 63.2%) and Cyprus (+ 61.8%).
With regard to the extra-EU imports, the picture is slightly different: in January 2023 compared to January 2022, the majority of EU member states registered increases, while nine EU states registered decreases in extra-EU imports. The highest increases were observed in Cyprus (+439.9%), Malta (+84.6%) and Slovenia (+43.3), while the highest decreases were observed in Estonia (-29.5), Luxembourg (-20.4) and Latvia (-19.7).
General reference: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/16310167/6-20032023-AP-EN.pdf/ece0f2fc-d061-afce-819f-2c3b06061e44?version=3.0&t=1679310206463/ March 2023.

      The EII’s opinion. Critical geopolitical situation negatively affected both the EU-27 intra- and extra-trade situation. As to the Baltic Sea region, trade stagnated in three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with deficit of about € 0,1-0,3 bn) and Finland, with a positive features for Poland (plus €1,4 bn). Positive trade balance was registered also in Germany (€10 bn), Denmark (€1,7 bn) and Sweden (€1bn), while with a deficit in Finland (minus €0,4bn). However, looking into seasonally adjusted features, noted Eurostat at the end of its account, the situation could be different.

   More information in the following Eurostat websites: = Eurostat website section on international trade in goods; = Eurostat database section on international trade in goods; = Eurostat Statistics; = Explained article on international trade in goods statistics.

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