There was continued growth in international trade in goods between the EU27 and the ASEM partners in the first half of 2012, with exports rising from 226 bn euro in the first half of 2011 to 255 bn in the first half of 2012, and imports up from 373 bn to 379 bn. The trade deficit continued to decrease in this period, from 146 bn to 124 bn. In the first half of 2012, the ASEM partners accounted for 31% of EU27 exports of goods and 43% of imports in the EU27.
Between 2000 and 2011, EU27 trade increased with most of the individual ASEM partners. Among the largest ASEM trading partners, the highest growth in this period was registered with China, Russia and India and the largest decrease with Japan.
Germany: more than one third of exports to ASEM partners and one fifth of imports
Among the EU27 Member States, Germany (88 bn euro or 35% of the total) was by far the largest exporter to the ASEM partners in the first half of 2012, followed by France (28 bn or 11%), the United Kingdom (26 bn or 10%) and Italy (20 bn or 8%). Germany (77 bn or 20%) was also by far the largest importer from the ASEM partners, followed by the Netherlands (63 bn or 17%), the United Kingdom (45 bn or 12%), France (32 bn or 8%) and Italy (31 bn or 8%). The largest deficits in the first half of 2012 were registered by the Netherlands (-45 bn), the United Kingdom (-19 bn), Austria (-12 bn), Italy (-11 bn) and Spain (-10 bn). The highest surpluses in trade with the ASEM partners were recorded by Germany (+11 bn) and Ireland (+1 bn).
China and Russia: half of EU27 exports to ASEM and two thirds of imports
Among the ASEM partners, China (73 bn euro or 29% of the total) was the leading destination for EU27 exports in the first half of 2012, followed by Russia (59 bn or 23%), Japan (27 bn or 11%), India (19 bn or 8%) and South Korea (18 bn or 7%). The leading source of EU27 imports from the ASEM partners was also China (140 bn or 37%), followed by Russia (107 bn or 28%) and Japan (33 bn or 9%). The highest EU27 deficits in trade with the ASEM partners in the first half of 2012 were recorded with China (-68 bn), Russia (-48 bn), Japan and Vietnam (both -6 bn) and the largest surpluses with Australia (+8 bn) and Singapore (+5 bn).