ISTAT, Foreign trade: exports grow again in November

ISTAT Foreign trade exports grow again in November

(Finance) – In November, exports grow again on a monthly basis, driven by the sales of capital goods to non-EU countries, influenced by high-impact occasional operations (shipbuilding), net of which growth is more contained (+1.5%). ISTAT notes this by adding that, instead, imports are down for the third consecutive month due to the contraction in energy purchases – which reflects the drop in imported volumes and in the prices of natural gas in the gaseous state – and intermediate goods.

On an annual basis, the growth of exports accelerated slightly while that of imports slowed further.

The energy deficit is large but the surplus in the trade of non-energy products increases and the trade balance, negative since December 2021, turns positive again.

Import prices mark a new cyclical decline and a further deceleration of trend growth, to which the decreases in the prices of natural gas and intermediate goods contribute.

In November, the Institute of Statistics estimates cyclical growth for exports (+3.9%) and a decline for imports (-1.4%). The increase on a monthly basis in exports is due to the increase in sales to non-EU markets (+8.3%), while those to the EU area are stationary.

In the September-November 2022 quarter, compared to the previous quarter, exports grew by 1.3%, imports decreased by 2.6%.

In November, exports grew on an annual basis by 18% in monetary terms while in volume they were substantially unchanged (+0.2%). The growth of exports in value is more sustained towards the non-EU area (+22.5%) than towards the EU markets (+14%). Imports in value recorded a tendential increase of 20.4% – more intense for the non-EU area (+27.7%) than the EU area (+14.8%) – and decreased by 1, 3% by volume.

Between sectors that contribute most to the trend increase in exports the following should be noted: means of transport, excluding motor vehicles (+69.3%), pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical items (+45.8%), machinery and equipment nec (+17.3%), foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (+12.4%) and computers, electronic and optical devices (+27.4%).

On an annual basis, i countries that provide the greatest contributions to the increase in national exports they are: United States (+31.2%), Switzerland (+54.1%), France (+14.2%), United Kingdom (+27.6%) and Spain (+22.4%). Exports to Russia are confirmed in sharp decline (-27.6%).

In the first eleven months of 2022, the growth trend in exports (+20.5%) is due in particular to the increase in sales of pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical items (+44.3%), base metals and metal products, excluding machinery and equipment (+18.4%), refined petroleum products (+85.4%), machinery and equipment nec (+9.9%), chemical substances and products (+21.7%) and food, beverages and tobacco (+17.3%).

The trade balance, in November, is positive and equal to +1,445 million euros (+2,200 million in November 2021). The energy deficit (-8,456 million) is larger than a year earlier (-5,777 million) but the surplus in the trade of non-energy products, amounting to 9,901 million, is high and up sharply compared to November 2021 (7,976 millions).

In November, import prices decreased by 1.0% on a monthly basis and increased by 13.6% on an annual basis (it was +15.7 in October 2022.