Belgian imports and exports decline further
The value of Belgian imports and exports fell sharply in June, according to a first estimate by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB).
According to the NBB's estimate, both imports and exports fell by 16.8 per cent in June. The NBB revised May's figures downwards from last month's first estimate: exports fell by 18.1 per cent and imports by 18.5 per cent. Originally, it had expected a decline of 16.5 per cent in each case.
Price effects caused the slowdown in growth in the first quarter, the NBB said. In the second quarter, however, the decline in trade volumes became more pronounced, leading to a further slowdown in the value of exports.
The biggest falls were in chemicals and mineral products, diamonds, plastics and base metals. However, trade in transport equipment, machinery and food increased.
In February, exports contracted for the first time in two years. The following months saw even larger declines. The value of imports has also been falling for the last four months.
© BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE