French official trade deficit falls to 6.25 bln euros

7th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French trade balance showed a slightly reduced deficit in October partly because of strong exports of grain, official data showed on Wednesday.

The country is on track for an increase of about 50.0 percent in its cumulative trade deficit for the calendar year.

France is the biggest exporter of agricultural produce in the European Union, and the customs data showed that exports of grain, alcoholic drinks and transportation equipment helped export performance

The balance showed a deficit of 6.25 billion euros ($8.38 billion) for October, down slightly from 6.57 billion euros in September.

But exports of chemical and pharmaceutical products declined, the customs service said.

Imports fell slightly but ther was an increase in purchases of energy.

The latest monthly data put France on track for a record trade deficit this year, in contrast to Germany which France is trying to match in economic performance but which has a big structural trade surplus.

Analysts say France, which has a structural trade deficit, lacks sufficient numbers of mid-sized companies with niche products and which are globally competitive.

A surplus of exports over imports is one of the factors of growth in an economy, and the structural trade deficit in France is a big concern to policymakers.

Over the past 12 months, the cumulative trade deficit has reached 71.56 billion euros, much higher than the total for 2010 of 51.53 billion euros.

For 2011, France expects a record deficit of 75 billion euros.

Exports were stable with the rest of the European Union, rose with the United States and fell with non-EU European countries.

© 2011 AFP

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