Exports plunge

10/04/2009 15:00

In February 2009, the volume of goods exports was 12 percent down on twelve months previously. The volume of goods imports also decreased by 12 percent. Volume figures have been corrected for the number of working days. February 2009 had one working less than February 2008. Exports dropped sharply in February, but to a lesser extent than in January.

Since November 2008, the volume of exports has been substantially lower than one year previously.  Figures published in an earlier stage about the dramatic reduction in manufacturing output and the pessimistic mood among manufacturers already suggested a downturn. In March, manufacturers were even more pessimistic about the amount of orders received from abroad than in February. 

The value of goods exports was 24.4 billion euro, i.e. a 21 percent drop relative to one year previously. The value of imports dropped by 22 percent to 21.5 billion euro, resulting in a trade surplus of 2.9 billion euro, i.e. 0.5 billion euro down on February 2008.

The value of imports and exports of raw materials, mineral fuels and petroleum products dropped considerably. Imports and exports of food products, on the other hand, dropped less than average. The decline in goods imports from non-EU countries exceeded that from EU countries, whereas exports to EU and non-EU countries declined to the same extent.

Import as well as export prices dropped by 7 percent in February relative to one year previously. The decline in import and export prices was chiefly caused by plummeting petroleum prices. As a result, the terms of trade of foreign goods hardly changed compared to February 2008.

Goods exports (volume)

Goods exports (volume)

More figures can be found on the theme page International trade.