ISTANBUL 

The EU’s exports continued to drop in May amid the coronavirus pandemic, bloc’s statistical office data showed on Thursday.

The 27-member bloc’s exports dropped by 29.7% to €129.8 billion ($141.48 billion) in May and 12.9% to €767.7 billion in the first five months of 2020, on a yearly basis, Eurostat said.

In May, the EU’s imports were €122.6 billion, and the foreign trade surplus was €7.1 billion. The foreign trade surplus was €18.6 billion in May 2019.

Intra-EU trade also dropped 27.3% to stand at €195.7 billion.

The average Euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate was 1.09 in May.

In the first five months of this year, the bloc’s foreign trade balance posted €54.8 billion surplus, down from €64.1 billion in the same period 2019.

In January-May, machinery and vehicles took the lion’s share from exports of the bloc with €287.5 billion, while chemicals and other manufactured goods followed them with €178.4 billion and €167.8 billion, respectively.

The US was the bloc’s main trade partner in the first five-month period, with €145 billion imports from the union and €89.9 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 €148.2 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 €72.6 billion — and the highest surplus with the US — €55.1 billion — over the same period.

In the eurozone side, extra-EA exports dropped 29.5% to €143.3 billion in May and by 13.1% to €845.8 billion in the first five months of the year.

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

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