ISTANBUL 

The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the EU’s exports seriously 28.2% to €125.4 billion ($136.7 billion) in April, the 27-member bloc’s statistical office said on Monday.

The EU’s imports were €125.1 billion, and the foreign trade surplus was €200 million in April, Eurostat announced.

The foreign trade surplus was €12.9 billion in April 2019.

In April, intra-EU exports dropped 10.2% to stand at €175.2 billion.

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

In the first four months of this year, the bloc’s exports posted another decline of 8.3% (€638.2 billion), while the trade balance saw a €47.7-billion surplus.

In January-April, machinery and vehicles took the lion’s share from exports of the bloc with €241.3 billion, while chemicals and other manufactured goods followed them with €145.9 billion and €139.6 billion, respectively.

The U.S. was the bloc’s main trade partner in the first four-month period, with €120.9 billion imports from the union and €76.8 billion in exports.

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

China was the top source of EU imports with €113.7 billion, followed by the US, UK, Russia, and Switzerland.

Country-to-country trade balances indicated that the EU incurred the largest deficit with China — nearly €53 billion — and the highest surplus with the US — €44 billion — over the same period.

In the eurozone side, extra-EA exports dropped 29.3% down to €136.6 billion in April.

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

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