The euro area’s (EA17) trade surplus with the rest of the world reached €15.6bn in July 2012, a rise from €2.1bn in July 2011, Eurostat reveals.

In June 2012, the surplus amounted to €13.6bn, compared to €0.2bn in June 2011. Between June and July 2012, exports fell by 2% and imports by 1.2%.

In July 2012, the EU27 trade balance with the rest of the world registered a €3.1bn surplus, compared to a €10.9bn deficit in 2011. June trade was in back balance from a €15.3bn deficit in June 2011. From June to July 2012, seasonally adjusted exports dropped by 1.7% and imports by 1.3%.

For the first six months of 2012, the EU27 deficit for energy reached €208.6bn, from €187.2bn in H1 2011, while the surplus for manufactured goods grew to €167.8bn from €112.1bn in H1 2011.

EU27 exports showed growth, particularly to Russia and South Korea (both +18%), Japan (+16%) and Brazil (+15%), while exports to India and Turkey decreased by 6% and 2% respectively.

Meanwhile, imports from Norway, South Korea and the USA increased by between 9 and 11%, and the EU27 registered the biggest falls in imports in India (-11%) and Japan (-5%).

The largest increase in the EU27 trade surplus was with the US (€40.6bn from €34bn in January-June 2011), while the trade deficit fell with China (€67.5bn from €75bn), Russia (€48.1bn from €51.7bn) and Japan (€6.1bn from €11.5bn), but grew with Norway (€28.3bn, from €24.4bn in H1 2011).

In overall H1 2012 trade (including intra-EU trade), Germany registered the largest surplus (€92.4bn), followed by the Netherlands (€25.6bn) and Ireland (€20.9bn). The UK registered the largest deficit (€73.8bn), followed by France (€43.9bn) and Spain (€18.9bn).