EU international merchandise trade: news (2023)

The latest news in the first quarter of 2023

The first three quarters of 2022 saw significant growth in non-EU trade, driven by rising commodity prices, particularly energy and food, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine put additional upward pressure. on these raw materials. In the fourth quarter, however, exports rose just 1.5% qoq, while imports fell 7.7% due to falling energy prices. In the first quarter of 2023, both exports (-1.4%) and imports (-11.5%) decreased. The trade deficit improved from €150 billion in the third quarter of 2022 to €78 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022 and to €2 billion in the first quarter of 2023.

Chart 1: EU trade in goods, quarterly figures from 2019-1 to 2023-1
(billions of euros, seasonally adjusted data)

The drop in imports from non-EU countries in the first quarter of 2023 is mainly due to the energy sector (-23.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022), raw materials (-11.4%), other industrial products (-11 ,2% ). and chemical (-6.5%) as shown in Graph 2. Exports decreased less than imports. The biggest drop was registered in energy (-11.5%) and raw materials (-6.1%).

Figure 2: EU trade by product group, Q1 2023
(quarterly growth rates, seasonally adjusted)

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Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, exports of machinery and vehicles recorded the largest increase among the different product groups (see Chart 3). In the first quarter of 2023 they increased by 14.4%, followed by food, beverages and tobacco (11.6%). The same two product groups also experienced the largest increase in imports, but food, beverages and tobacco (9.6%) increased slightly more than machinery and vehicles (8.9%), while imports of the other product groups were reduced.

Figure 3: EU trade by product group, Q1 2023
(growth rates with respect to the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted figures)

Graph 4 shows the trade balance by product group. Between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2021, the combined surpluses in machinery and vehicles and chemicals offset the deficit in energy. However, since then, rising energy commodity prices have increased the energy deficit to such an extent that the overall surplus has turned into a deficit. In the past two quarters, falling energy prices have brought the trade deficit to near zero.

Figure 4: EU trade balance by product group, 2019-2023
(billions of euros, seasonally adjusted data)

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Trading outside the EU of partners

The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to significant changes in the participation of key partners due to various sanctions that directly or indirectly affected the oil, gas and coal trade. Between the first quarter of 2022 and the latest trade data for the first quarter of 2023, the share of imports from Russia decreased by 6.7 percentage points (pp). The share of imports from China (-1.9 p.p.) and Switzerland (-0.2 p.p.) also fell, while the share of imports from the United States (2.0 p.p.) and the United Kingdom (0.7 p.p.) increased. pp) (see Graph 5). .

Figure 5: Imports of goods in the EU by main partners, first quarter of 2022 and 2023
(% of imports outside the EU, seasonally adjusted data)

In terms of export flows, the imposition of restrictions led to a decrease in the share of Russia (-1.5 percentage points) in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022. In the same period, the share of exports of goods from the E.U. to the UK and Switzerland both rose 0.1 p.m. and 0.2 a.m. m. respectively, while shares in China (-6:00 p.m.) and the United States (-6:00 p.m.) fell (see chart 6).

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Figure 6: EU exports to main partners, first quarter of 2022 and 2023
(% of exports outside the EU, seasonally adjusted)

Since the second quarter of 2020, rising prices have led to large increases in the value of energy imports (see Chart 7). However, starting in August 2022, energy prices began to fall gradually and in the first quarter of 2023 Russia's imports of energy products decreased by €15.5 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 (-32.8 billion million compared to the first quarter of 2022). due to the combined effect of falling prices and import restrictions. Imports from Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States also fell in the first quarter of 2023 by -0.7, -0.9 and -3.2 billion respectively compared to the previous quarter, but remained above the levels of the first quarter of 2022 (+3.4, +1.1 and +0.8 billion), despite the fall in prices.

Figure 7: EU imports of energy products by partner, 2019-I to 2023-I
(billions of euros, seasonally adjusted data)

In the first quarter of 2019, Russia was by far the largest partner, with a share 1.5 times that of the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom combined (see Figure 8). The Russian invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally changed this trade, with the share of EU imports from Russia falling. Already in the first quarter of 2022, the combined share of the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom was equal to that of Russia, while in the first quarter of 2023, Russia's share was less than a quarter of the share. Combined United States, Norway and United Kingdom. Russia's share of imports of energy products fell by almost 20 percentage points, from 27.0% in the first quarter of 2021 to 7.4% in the first quarter of 2023.

Figure 8: Imports of EU energy products by partner, 2019-I to 2023-I
(participation outside the EU in %, seasonally adjusted data)

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Data source for tables and graphs

  • Download the excel file EU international merchandise trade: news (9)

data sources

Data for the EU come from Eurostat's COMEXT database. COMEXT is the reference database for international merchandise trade. It not only provides access to recent and historical data from EU Member States, but also statistics from a significant number of non-EU countries. Aggregate international trade statistics and detailed statistics disseminated through the Eurostat website are compiled from COMEXT data in a monthly publication. process.

The data is collected by the national competent authorities of the EU member states and compiled according to a harmonized methodology established by the EU regulations before being sent to Eurostat. For trade outside the EU, statistical information is mainly provided by traders on the basis of customs declarations.

EU data is collected in accordance with EU guidelines and therefore may differ from national data published by EU Member States. Extra-EU trade statistics are calculated as the sum of the trade of each of the 27 EU Member States with non-EU countries. In other words, the EU is considered a single trading entity and trade flows are measured within and without the region, but not within the region.

The UK is considered a non-EU partner country for the EU for the entire period covered by this article. However, the United Kingdom remained part of the internal market until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), which means that the data on trade with the United Kingdom was still based on statistical concepts that apply to the trade between EU member states. from other non-EU trading partners are grouped by country of origin, while the UK figures reflect the country of dispatch.


According to the concepts and definitions of the EU, extra-community trade statistics (trade between EU member states and non-EU countries) do not record the exchange of goods in transit, placed in a customs warehouse or temporarily imported ( for exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, tests, etc.). This is known as "special trade". The partner is the country of final destination of the goods for export and the country of origin for import.

Unit of measurement

Trade values ​​are expressed in millions or trillions (1 billion) of euros. They correspond to the statistical value, that is, the amount that would be charged if they were sold or bought at the border of the reference country. one is calledCHEATvalue (free on board) for export and aC.I.F.value (cost, insurance, freight) to import.


Trade is an important indicator of Europe's prosperity and position in the world. The bloc is deeply integrated into global markets, both for the products it sources and the exports it sells. The EU's trade policy is one of the main pillars of the EU's relations with the rest of the world.

As the 27 member states of the EU share a market and an external border, they also have a trade policy. EU member states speak and bargain collectively, both at theWorld Trade Organization, where the rules of international trade and with individual trading partners are agreed upon and applied. This common policy allows them to speak with one voice in trade negotiations, maximizing their impact in those negotiations. This is even more important in a globalized world where economies tend to cluster in regional groups.

The openness of the EU trade regime means that the EU is the most important player on the world trade stage and remains a good area to do business. Thanks to the ease of modern transportation and modern communications, it is now easier to produce, buy, and sell goods around the world, giving European companies of all sizes the opportunity to trade outside of Europe.

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Who is the largest buyer of EU goods? ›

The United States is the largest destination for EU exports of goods in 2022, while China is the largest origin for EU imports of goods. This article discusses the development of the European Union's (EU) international trade in goods.

What is the new EU trade strategy? ›

On 18 February 2021, the European Commission set out its new trade strategy for the coming years. Reflecting the concept of 'Open Strategic Autonomy', it builds on the EU's openness to contribute to the economic recovery by supporting the green and digital transformations.

Who are the EU's biggest trading partners? ›

In 2021, the principal destinations for goods exported from the EU included the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Switzerland. The list of the EU's top 10 export markets for goods is completed with Russia, Turkey, Japan, Norway, South Korea and India (see Map 1).

What is the EU position in international trade? ›

The EU is the world's largest trader of manufactured goods and services. The EU ranks first in both inbound and outbound international investments. The EU is the top trading partner for 80 countries. By comparison, the US is the top trading partner for a little over 20 countries.

Who has the fastest growing economy in the EU? ›

Irish output grew more than expected last year, probably making it the European Union's fastest growing economy in 2022. The Irish economy grew by 12.2% in 2022, aided by particularly strong growth in the manufacturing sector, according to estimates published by the Central Statistics Office.

Who has the strongest economy in EU? ›

Germany's economy has consistently had the largest economy in Europe since 1980, even before the reunification of West and East Germany. The United Kingdom, by contrast, has had mixed fortunes during the same time period and had a smaller economy than Italy in the late 1980s.

What are the 5 priorities of the EU global strategy? ›

Peace and security, prosperity, democracy and a rules-based global order are the vital interests underpinning our external action.

What are the 3 types of trade agreements the EU works to achieve with countries outside the EU? ›

  • Trade agreements in force - fully ratified.
  • Trade agreements in force - provisionally applied.
  • Agreements finalised (negotiations concluded, but not signed)
  • Negotiating new agreements.

What is the European strategy 2050? ›

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This objective is at the heart of the European Green DealEN••• and in line with the EU's commitment to global climate action under the Paris AgreementEN•••.

Does EU have trade deal with USA? ›

Negotiations. Despite the US being the EU's largest trade and investment partner, there is no dedicated free trade agreement between the EU and the US. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations were launched in 2013, but ended without conclusion at the end of 2016.

What is Europe's biggest export? ›

In the long-term, the European Union Exports is projected to trend around 255000.00 EUR Million in 2024 and 262700.00 EUR Million in 2025, according to our econometric models. The European Union's main exports are manufactured goods such as machinery & vehicles and chemicals, as well as food & drink.

What is the European Union biggest import? ›

Paste HTML to embed in website:
European Union Imports By CategoryValueYear
Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers$288.53B2022
Vehicles other than railway, tramway$121.45B2022
Organic chemicals$112.97B2022
Pharmaceutical products$101.49B2022
93 more rows

Does the EU have a trade surplus? ›

In 2022, the EU trade in goods balance registered a large deficit of €432 billion, reaching its lowest level since the start of the time series in 2002.

What is the largest trading block in the world? ›

The European Economic Area (EEA)

The European Union (EU) is the world's largest trading bloc and the second largest economy in the world. It is also the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)'s largest trading partner, as 70% of imported merchandise in EFTA countries comes from the EU.

What is the largest single market in the world? ›

As the largest trading bloc globally, the EU is the primary trading partner for more than 80 countries and is among the most open economies worldwide. The EU is responsible for the trade policies of its member countries and negotiates agreements on their behalf.

What is the slowest growing economy in Europe? ›

By contrast, the German economy was the slowest growing European economy in this year, with an annual GDP growth of just 2.9 percent in 2021. These fast growth rates contrast with 2020 when the EU economy shrank by 5.9 percent, and almost all European countries took an economic hit.

What are the top 3 economy in Europe? ›

Largest Economies in Europe
  • Finland. 5Y avg GDP (2017-2021): $274.2 billion. 5Y avg GDP growth rate (2017-2021): 1.34% ...
  • Denmark. 5Y avg GDP (2017-2021): $357.8 billion. ...
  • Norway. 5Y avg GDP (2017-2021): $416.99 billion. ...
  • Sweden. 5Y avg GDP (2017-2021): $559.9 billion. ...
  • Switzerland. 5Y avg GDP (2017-2021): $747.4 billion.
Feb 12, 2023

Who has the lowest economy in EU? ›

The ten poorest countries in Europe, based on GNI per capita, are Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Russia.

Is the EU economy better than the US? ›

Since then the EU has become an economic and political force to reckon with. Its combined gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $16.6 trillion in 2022, after the U.S. ($26 trillion) and China ($19 trillion.) ℹ️ GDP is a broad indicator of the economic activity within a country.

How is the US economy compared to the EU? ›

As of 2021, The per capita income of the United States is 1.86 and 1.44 times higher than that of the European Union in nominal and PPP terms, respectively. The US had greater gdp per capita than the EU for data available since 1966.

Is EU richer than China? ›

By 2030, China is forecast to become the world's largest economy, for now, it has just surpassed the EU. In a milestone moment, the economy of China surpassed the whole of the European Union (EU), for the first time.

What is the EU strategy for 2030? ›

The European Commission has adopted the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan (annex) - a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems.

What are 3 goals of the EU? ›

The aims of the EU within the wider world are: uphold and promote its values and interests. contribute to peace and security and the sustainable development of the Earth. contribute to solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights.

What are the future goals of the EU? ›

The aims and values of the EU

To promote peace and the well-being of EU citizens. To offer EU citizens freedom, security and justice, without internal borders, while also controlling external borders. To work towards the sustainable development of Europe, promoting equality and social justice.

What is the most common currency in Europe? ›

Today, the euro is the currency of 20 EU countries and over 346 million Europeans. It is one of the most important currencies in the world and we at the European Central Bank are entrusted with safeguarding its value.

Why did the UK leave the EU? ›

Polls found that the main reasons people voted Leave were "the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK", and that leaving "offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders."

What are the three pillars of EU trade policy? ›

It has three pillars: economic, environmental and social.

Which country is future European? ›

There are eight recognised candidates for membership of the European Union: Turkey (since 1999), North Macedonia (2005), Montenegro (2010), Serbia (2012), Albania (2014), Moldova (2022), Ukraine (2022), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2022).

What is the net zero policy in Europe? ›

What are the targets for low-carbon technologies in the EU? The proposed Net-Zero Industry Act repeats the EU's commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and, as a stepping stone, slashing emissions by 55% on 1990 levels by 2030.

What is the EU 2040 plan? ›

BRUSSELS, April 3 (Reuters) - The European Union is moving ahead with plans to set an emissions-cutting target for 2040, a milestone to steer the world's third-biggest economy towards zero net greenhouse gas emissions a decade later.

What percent of US trade goes to EU? ›

In 2021, 15.5% of the total U.S. Exports were shipped to European Union while 17.3% of total U.S. Imp orts were delivered from European Union. In 2021, the U.S. exports to European Union shipped under a BIS license exception totaled $3.6 billion, a 7.2% ($281.7 million) decrease from 2020.

What products does the US import from Europe? ›

U.S. total imports (general) of agricultural products from the EU 27 totaled $23.9 billion in 2019. Leading categories include: wine and beer ($6.3 billion), essential oils ($3.2 billion), snack foods ($1.7 billion), processed fruit & vegetables ($1.4 billion), and other vegetable oils ($1.3 billion).

Is the EU bigger than the US? ›

With an area of 10.2 million km² (3,938,000 sq mi), Europe is 20% larger than the contiguous United States. The European Union has an area (without the UK) of over 4.23 million km² (1.6 million sq mi). How many countries are there in Europe? Europe is shared by 50 countries.

Who has the largest import economy in the world? ›

The United States is the world's largest importer of goods, followed by China and Germany. Overall out of the world's 10 largest importers, 4 countries are in Europe, 4 are in Asia and 1 from North America and 1 from Central America.

Does the US export food to Europe? ›

In 2021, the United States exported $1.6 billion of agricultural products to Spain, or 15 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports to the EU.

What ended all trade with European countries? ›

The Embargo Act of 1807 was a general trade embargo on all foreign nations that was enacted by the United States Congress.

Which country has the best trade surplus? ›

Russia and China have topped the list of countries that registered the highest trade surplus in 2022, according to a report by the national statistical services of both countries, reports state-owned RT news.

What is the biggest trade ever made? ›

His bet against the subprime mortgage bubble has been called "the greatest trade ever" by Gregory Zuckerman. Paulson's involvement in the Abacus-2007AC1 deals resulted in Goldman Sachs paying a $550 million penalty, the largest ever paid by a Wall Street firm.

What are the 3 biggest trading regions in the world? ›

For most economies in the world, their leading export and import trading partner in terms of value is either the European Union or China, and to a certain degree, the United States and Russia.

What is the most successful trading bloc? ›

European Union is the most integrated trade block in the world and formed in the year 1951. It has built a single Europe-wide market and also launched Euro as a single currency for regional trading.

What is the largest market in the US? ›

Which are the main stock markets in the United States? The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq are by far the world's largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization.

Has any country ever left the EU? ›

Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) states that "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements". Currently, the United Kingdom is the only former member state to have withdrawn from the European Union.

Is the US the largest market in the world? ›

In 2023, stock markets in the United States accounted for nearly 60 percent of world stocks. The next largest country by stock market share was Japan, followed by the United Kingdom. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ are the largest stock exchange operators worldwide.

Which is the largest market in EU? ›

Germany is the largest market in Europe. It constitutes 25 percent of Europe's GDP (EU-27) and is home to 19 percent of the total European Union (EU) population.

What country is the biggest buyer? ›

The United States is the world's largest importer of goods, followed by China and Germany.

Is the EU the US largest trading partner? ›

Despite the US being the EU's largest trade and investment partner, there is no dedicated free trade agreement between the EU and the US.

What are the big 5 markets in the EU? ›

Comparing Gross Value Added (GVA) per worker in the pharmaceutical industry across the EU “Big 5” countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain), the UK retains the highest GVA per worker over the period 2012-2014.

What is the biggest ecommerce in Europe? ›

The largest online marketplaces in Europe
9 more rows
Apr 27, 2023

Who does the US buy the most from? ›

The top five suppliers of U.S. goods imports in 2019 were: China ($452 billion), Mexico ($358 billion), Canada ($319 billion), Japan ($144 billion), and Germany ($128 billion). U.S. goods imports from the European Union 27 were $515 billion.

What country sells the most merchandise? ›

China is the top country by merchandise exports in the world. As of 2020, merchandise exports in China was 2,590,221 million US dollars that accounts for 14.71% of the world's merchandise exports. The top 5 countries (others are the United States of America, Germany, Netherlands, and Japan) account for 38.14% of it.

What country does the US export the most to? ›

Exports The top exports of United States are Refined Petroleum ($83.3B), Petroleum Gas ($70.9B), Crude Petroleum ($67.6B), Cars ($55.4B), and Integrated Circuits ($51.3B), exporting mostly to Canada ($259B), Mexico ($247B), China ($151B), Japan ($71.8B), and South Korea ($66.4B).

What is Europe's number one export to the US? ›

European Union Exports to United StatesValueYear
Pharmaceutical products$91.96B2022
Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers$83.92B2022
Vehicles other than railway, tramway$53.93B2022
Electrical, electronic equipment$37.39B2022
93 more rows

What does Europe buy from USA? ›

In 2020, the largest U.S. exports to the EU were aerospace products and parts, at $35.7 billion.

What are the US biggest exports to Europe? ›

U.S. total exports (domestic exports plus re-exports) of agricultural products to the EU 27 totaled $10.3 billion in 2019. Leading domestic export categories include: tree nuts ($2.9 billion), soybeans ($1.9 billion), planting seeds ($458 million), prepared food ($400 million), and wine & beer ($251 million).


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(Sky News)
2. S. Korea's Q1 exports hit most among G20 economies over global trade tensions
(Arirang News)
3. Vladimir Putin warns the West that he isn't bluffing
(Sky News)
4. European Union puts forward proposals to solve trading arrangements in Northern Ireland | World News
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(TLDR News EU)
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(Yahoo Finance)


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