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EU - Asia trade statistics

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Between 1999 and 2005, EU25 exports and imports of goods to the 13 Asian countries1 taking part in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) both grew by more than 60%: exports rose from 99 billion euro to 161 bn, while imports increased from 206 bn to 336 bn.


The EU25 deficit in trade with the ASEM partners grew from 107 bn in 1999 to 175 bn in 2005. The ASEM partners accounted for around 22% of the EU25's total external trade in goods in 2005 - 15% of exports and 28% of imports. The total share of the ASEM partners has not changed significantly compared to 1999, since the increased importance of China in EU25 trade has been counterbalanced by a reduction in the share of trade with Japan.

On the occasion of the sixth ASEM Summit, which will take place on 10 and 11 September 2006 in Helsinki, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, issues data on trade in goods between the 25 Member States of the EU and the 13 Asian countries taking part in ASEM.

Machinery and vehicles account for more than half of EU25 trade with ASEM partners

EU25 trade with the ASEM partners is dominated by manufactured goods, which accounted for around 90% of both imports and exports in 2005. As a result, the deficit of 175 bn registered for manufactured goods makes up nearly all of the deficit with the ASEM partners.

Half of EU25 exports to the ASEM partners in 2005 were machinery and vehicles2, and a further quarter were other manufactured articles2. These same two groups of products accounted for 57% and 32% of imports respectively. At the detailed level, the main EU25 exports to the ASEM partners were aircraft, motor cars and parts, electronic circuits and medicine, while the main imports were mobile phones, computers and parts (including monitors and printers), digital cameras and motor cars.

Germany: one third of EU25 exports to ASEM partners, and one fifth of imports

Among the EU25 Member States, Germany (54 bn euro, or 34% of the total) was by far the largest exporter to the ASEM partners in 2005, followed by France (22 bn or 13%), the United Kingom (19 bn or 12%) and Italy (15 bn or 9%). Imports from the ASEM partners were less concentrated. Germany (71 bn or 21%) was the largest importer, followed by the United Kingdom (56 bn or 17%), the Netherlands3 (54 bn or 16%), and France (31 bn or 9%).

Only Ireland recorded a small surplus in trade with the ASEM partners in 2005, while the largest deficits were registered by the Netherlands3 (-43 bn), the United Kingdom (-38 bn), Germany (-18 bn) and Spain (-16 bn).

China: nearly half of EU25 imports from ASEM partners, and one third of exports

Among the ASEM partners, China (52 bn euro, or 32% of the total) was the leading destination for EU25 exports in 2005, followed by Japan (44 bn or 27%). The leading source of EU25 imports from the ASEM partners was China (158 bn or 47%), followed by Japan (73 bn or 22%). Except for a small surplus with Brunei, the EU25 recorded deficits with the other ASEM partners, the highest deficits being registered with China (-106 bn), Japan (-30 bn) and South Korea (-13 bn).

EU25 and Member States trade with the ASEM partners

million euro


Exports
Imports
Balance

1999
2005
Growth 2005
/1999
1999
2005
Growth 2005
/1999
1999
2005
EU25
98 985
160 640
62%
205 714
335 690
63%
-106 730
-175 050
Belgium
4 762
8 304
74%
11 695
20 853
78%
-6 933
-12 549
Czech Republic
310
856
176%
1 557
3 684
137%
-1 248
-2 828
Denmark
2 795
3 600
29%
2 866
5 098
78%
-71
-1 499
Germany
28 852
53 864
87%
46 208
71 447
55%
-17 356
-17 583
Estonia
26
101
287%
251
572
128%
-225
-471
Greece
194
353
82%
3 014
4 310
43%
-2 820
-3 958
Spain
2 587
4 075
58%
10 626
20 491
93%
-8 039
-16 415
France
13 842
21 545
56%
20 092
30 636
52%
-6 250
-9 091
Ireland
4 267
5 724
34%
5 578
5 237
-6%
-1 311
486
Italy
9 247
15 189
64%
14 883
27 088
82%
-5 636
-11 899
Cyprus
8
44
449%
376
459
22%
-368
-415
Latvia
6
56
763%
31
171
451%
-25
-115
Lithuania
16
310
1817%
185
463
151%
-169
-153
Luxembourg
116
250
116%
289
2 797
868%
-173
-2 547
Hungary
429
916
114%
2 915
7 816
168%
-2 487
-6 900
Malta
354
308
-13%
419
319
-24%
-65
-11
Netherlands3
5 905
10 324
75%
27 568
53 727
95%
-21 663
-43 403
Austria
2 090
4 273
104%
2 188
4 521
107%
-97
-248
Poland
406
1 013
150%
3 912
4 789
22%
-3 506
-3 776
Portugal
231
783
238%
2 011
1 772
-12%
-1 780
-990
Slovenia
48
108
126%
501
496
-1%
-454
-388
Slovakia
52
268
412%
448
1 525
240%
-396
-1 257
Finland
2 614
3 706
42%
2 393
3 900
63%
222
-194
Sweden
5 050
5 895
17%
4 640
7 048
52%
409
-1 153
United Kingdom
14 777
18 775
27%
41 068
56 470
38%
-26 291
-37 695
Total extra-EU25
689 434
1 070 981
55%
746 622
1 179 812
58%
-57 188
-108 831
ASEM / Total
14%
15%

28%
28%




EU25 trade with the ASEM partners by product

million euro


Exports
Imports
Balance

1999
2005
Growth 2005/1999
1999
2005
Growth 2005/1999
1999
2005
Total
98 985
160 640
62%
205 714
335 690
63%
-106 730
-175 050









Primary products:
9 877
14 280
45%
10 753
17 358
61%
-875
-3 078
Food & drink
6 177
7 340
19%
4 813
6 260
30%
1 364
1 080
Crude materials
3 147
6 100
94%
5 305
8 182
54%
-2 158
-2 081
Energy
553
840
52%
634
2 917
360%
-81
-2 077
Manufactured goods:
85 146
141 498
66%
191 321
316 401
65%
-106 174
-174 904
Chemicals
14 410
23 740
65%
9 919
18 971
91%
4 491
4 769
Machinery & vehicles
48 935
80 007
63%
118 577
190 181
60%
-69 642
-110 174
Other manuf’d articles
21 802
37 750
73%
62 825
107 249
71%
-41 023
-69 499
Other
3 961
4 863
23%
3 641
1 930
-47%
320
2 932


EU25 trade with the ASEM partners
million euro


EU25 exports to:
EU25 imports from:
EU25 balance

1999
2005
Growth 2005/1999
1999
2005
Growth 2005/1999
1999
2005
Total
98 985
160 640
62%
205 714
335 689
63%
-106 730
-175 048
China
19 618
51 842
164%
52 406
157 985
201%
-32 788
-106 143
Japan
35 650
43 646
22%
75 241
73 319
-3%
-39 591
-29 673
South Korea
11 640
20 149
73%
20 185
33 367
65%
-8 545
-13 218
Singapore
12 542
17 241
37%
13 635
18 273
34%
-1 093
-1 032
Malaysia
6 501
9 239
42%
13 908
15 956
15%
-7 407
-6 717
Thailand
4 763
7 905
66%
10 558
12 987
23%
-5 795
-5 083
Indonesia
3 382
4 765
41%
9 175
10 749
17%
-5 793
-5 984
Philippines
3 307
3 608
9%
6 557
6 491
-1%
-3 251
-2 883
Vietnam
1 096
1 890
72%
3 339
5 530
66%
-2 243
-3 641
Cambodia
72
126
75%
270
526
95%
-198
-400
Myanmar
121
84
-31%
227
287
26%
-106
-203
Laos
32
38
19%
113
144
27%
-81
-106
Brunei
261
108
-59%
101
73
-28%
160
35



  1. The 13 Asian countries taking part in ASEM are China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 members of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  2. Machinery and vehicles includes power generating and industrial machinery, computers, electric and electronic parts and equipment, road vehicles and parts, ships, airplanes and railway equipment.

Other manufactured articles include leather, rubber, wood, paper, textiles, metals, building fixtures and fittings, furniture, clothes, shoes and accessories, scientific instruments, clocks, watches and cameras.

  1. Dutch imports, and therefore the trade deficit, are over-estimated because of the “Rotterdam effect”, where goods destined for the rest of the EU arrive and are recorded in harmonised EU external trade statistics in Dutch ports. This then has a positive effect on the external trade balances with the ASEM partners of those Member States to which the goods are re-exported, as these shipments would be recorded as intra-EU trade with the Netherlands, rather than extra-EU trade with the ASEM partners.

Source: Eurostat
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