ISTANBUL

The EU’s exports continued to drop in June amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the bloc’s statistical office on Friday. 

The bloc’s exports dropped by 9.6% to €154.4 billion (some $174.4 billion) in June and 12.4% to €921.6 billion in the first half of 2020, on a yearly basis, Eurostat said.

In June, the EU’s imports were €133.7 billion, and the foreign trade surplus was €20.7 billion. The foreign trade surplus was €17.5 billion in June 2019.

Intra-EU trade also dropped 6.4% to stand at €235.4 billion in June and 12.7% to €1.36 trillion in the first half, year-on-year.

The average Euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate was 1.13 in June.

In the first six months of this year, the bloc’s foreign trade balance posted €74.1 billion surplus, down from €81.5 billion in the same period 2019.

In January-June period, machinery and vehicles exports were €348.1 billion, while chemicals and other manufactured goods followed them with €212.1 billion and €201.9 billion, respectively.

The US was the bloc’s main trade partner in the first six-month period, with €171.7 billion imports from the union and €105.1 billion in exports.

By export volume, the UK, China, Switzerland, and Russia followed the US in the same period, said EuroStat.

China was the top source of EU imports with €181.7 billion, followed by the US, UK, Switzerland and Russia.

Country-to-country trade balances indicated that the EU incurred the largest deficit with China — nearly €87.9 billion — and the highest surplus with the US — €66.5 billion — over the same period.

In the eurozone side, extra-EA exports dropped 10% to €170.3 billion in June and by 12.7% to €1.01 trillion in the first half of the year.

The Eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents the member states that use the single currency, the euro.

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