Extra-EU trade in goods recovering - Products Eurostat News

null Extra-EU trade in goods recovering


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In the second quarter of 2021, the value of the EU's exports of goods to countries outside the EU was slightly above the level it had been in the first quarter of 2019. However, the value of imports during the same period showed a stronger recovery. As a result, the EU trade surplus decreased from €46 billion to €29 billion.

Source dataset: ext_st_eu27_2020sitc


China overtook the US as EU’s largest trade partner

In Q2 2021, the EU’s largest trade partner in goods was China, having overtaken the United States in Q2 2020.

In fact, between Q1 2019 and Q2 2021, the share of imports from China increased by 4.0 percentage points (pp). The share of imports from Switzerland also saw a 0.7 pp increase. In the same period, imports from the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States dropped by 3.4 pp, 1.1 pp, and 1.0 pp, respectively. The COVID-19 pandemic, and in the case of the United Kingdom also Brexit, were major contributing factors in these drops.


Infographic: EU imports from main partners, Q1 2019 compared to Q2 2021, % of extra-EU imports, seasonally adjusted data

Source dataset: ext_st_eu27_2020sitc


During the same period, China’s share in the EU’s exports of goods increased by 1.5 pp, while that of the United Kingdom fell back by 3.2 pp. The shares of Russia, Switzerland and the United States all grew by less than 0.6 pp.


Infographic: EU exports to main partners, Q1 2019 compared to Q2 2021, % of extra-EU exports, seasonally adjusted data

​​​​​Source dataset: ext_st_eu27_2020sitc


For more information:

  • Eurostat Statistics Explained article on EU international trade in goods
  • Overview of statistics on international trade in goods
  • Database of statistics on international trade in goods
  • The United Kingdom is considered as an extra-EU partner country for the EU for the whole period covered by this article. However, the United Kingdom was still part of the internal market until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), meaning that data on trade with the United Kingdom were still based on statistical concepts applicable to trade between the EU Member States. Consequently, while imports from any other extra-EU trade partner are grouped by country of origin, the United Kingdom data reflect the country of consignment. In practice this means that the goods imported by the EU from the United Kingdom were physically transported from the United Kingdom but part of these goods could have been of other origin than the United Kingdom. For this reason, data on trade with the United Kingdom are not fully comparable with data on trade with other extra-EU trade partners.


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