ROME, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Italy's foreign trade picked up in June compared to May, with imports rising by 16.1 percent and exports by 14.4 percent, the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) said Friday in a report.
The month-on-month rise in exports was due to a higher volume of sales to both non-European Union (EU) markets (up 15.6 percent) and towards the EU (up 13.3 percent), the report said.
Imports grew by 14 percent for EU countries and by 19.2 percent for non-EU countries in the same period, ISTAT said.
"The month-on-month recovery, which started in May, is consolidating," ISTAT analysts wrote, adding that imports "posted a new and significant increase (in June) compared to the previous month, due especially to the recovery in purchases from the non-EU market."
However, despite growing foreign trade in May and June, the second quarter of the year posted a "significantly negative" volume of trade compared to the first quarter.
This was the case both for exports (down 24.8 percent) and imports (down 21.8 percent), ISTAT pointed out.
Compared to the same period last year, June exports dropped by 12.1 percent and imports were down by 15.6 percent, the report said.
On a yearly basis, the biggest drops in exports were to the U.S.(down 22.4 percent), Spain (down 21.7 percent), France (down 9.7 percent), the UK (down 11.2 percent), and the OPEC countries (down 17.1 percent).
Outgoing flows to China dropped by 3.3 percent while imports from China increased by 24.3 percent in June 2020 compared to the same month last year, ISTAT said.
Bucking the trend were sales to Switzerland (up 4.7 percent), Belgium (up 7.5 percent), and Japan (up 8.1 percent).