The European Union's trade surplus in goods with the US decreased in the first three months of 2019, but its deficit with China widened, figures released today showed.
The 28-nation bloc's surplus with the US slipped to €33.9 billion in the three months from January to March, from €36.2 billion the same time in 2018, EU statistics office Eurostat reported.
With China, the EU's trade deficit expanded to €49.4 billion from €46.9 billion.
In the months from January to February, the EU trade surplus with the US had risen, while its deficit with China expanded.
The US has hit the European Union with tariffs and threatened more while complaining over the trade balance. Both Washington and Brussels have also complained that China wants free trade without playing fair.
Overall, the goods trade deficit of the 28-nation bloc increased to €24 billion in the first quarter from €9.6 billion a year earlier.
Energy imports were the chief cause of the deficit, especially from Russia and Norway.
However, the sharpest movements were related to trade from Turkey and South Korea, the EU's trade balance with both turning from a surplus to a deficit.
For the 19-country euro zone, exports grew by 3.1% year-on-year in March and imports by 6%, leading to a decline of its trade surplus to €22.5 billion from €26.9 billion a year earlier.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the euro zone's trade surplus also decreased to €17.9 billion in March from €20.6 billion in February as exports increased by 0.9% month-on-month and imports rose by 2.5%.