The European Union’s foreign trade balance saw a €68.9 billion ($78.2 billion) surplus in 2021, the bloc’s statistical authority said on Tuesday.

Last year’s reading was down 68% from €215.8 billion in January-December 2020, Eurostat data showed.

The 27-member bloc’s exports to the rest of the world increased 12.8% year-on-year to reach €2.2 trillion in 2021, while imports climbed 23% to €2.1 trillion.

Intra-EU trade went up 19.9% on an annual basis to €3.4 trillion last year.

“In 2021, the highest increase for both import and export flows was recorded in the energy sector, leading to a significant worsening of the EU energy deficit of €276.7 bn in 2021 compared with €157.2 billion in 2020,” the data showed.

Trading partners

The US was the top market for EU exporters last year, with a total volume of €399.4 billion, rising 13.1% from 2020.

The other major export markets were the UK, China, Switzerland, Russia and Turkiye.

On the other side, China was the main source of imports with €472.2 billion, an annual growth of 22.6%.

It was followed by the US, UK, Russia, Switzerland and Turkiye.

In 2021, the bloc had the largest deficit of €248.9 billion with China and the biggest surplus of €167.4 billion with the US.

With a trade volume of €157.2 billion in 2021, Turkiye was the sixth-largest trading partner of the EU

EU exports to the country stood at €79.2 billion, while the bloc’s imports from Turkiye amounted to €78 billion.

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