BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s trade surplus rose as expected in November despite a economic slowdown and falling trade turnover, mainly thanks to a better trade balance with Russia, Turkey, Norway, Japan and South Korea, data showed on Friday.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said the trade surplus of the 19 countries sharing the euro with the rest of the world was 25.8 billion euros in November, up from 20.2 billion a year earlier.
Though both exports and imports fell year-on-year, imports declined 4.2% while exports only 1.0%, Eurostat said.
The biggest changes in the trade balance in the January-November period were with energy exporter Russia, where the European Union’s trade deficit narrowed to 13.8 billion euros from 52.1 billion in the same period of 2019.
With Turkey, the EU swung to a 6.2 billion euro trade surplus in the first 11 months of 2020 from a 2.4 billion euro deficit the year before. The EU also improved its trade balances with South Korea, Japan, Norway, and India.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)