The trend remains bad for the trade balance of French goods.

The deficit reached a new record in March at 11.5 billion euros, significantly degraded by energy imports whose prices soared with the invasion in Ukraine, Customs said on Monday.

The deficit had already crossed the 10 billion euro mark in February with 10.3 billion euros, according to the corrected figures from Customs.

It also reached an absolute record in accumulation over twelve rolling months, at 100 billion euros.

End of the increase for exports

The sharp deterioration in the French balance of trade is linked to the increase in the amounts of imported goods compared to exported goods, detail Customs, at 57.4 billion euros against 45.9 billion euros in March.

Down by 500 million euros, French exports were less vigorous in March, interrupting this month a continuous increase since the beginning of 2021 and therefore widening the deficit.

In addition, "the increase in the amounts traded is driven by the increase in prices", specify the Customs, affirming that on average over three months, import prices increased in March by 5% while they were n took only 2% on exports.

This is partly explained by the rise in the prices of natural hydrocarbons and electricity, the bill for which increased by 4% over the month and 19% over three months.

Oil prices have soared in recent months in the wake of the gradual recovery of the global economy and then the war in Ukraine at the initiative of Russia, propelling the price of a barrel above 100 dollars.

As for the balance of payments, which includes trade in services, the situation is no better.

The current account deficit stood at 3.2 billion euros in January, against 2.3 billion the previous month, detailed the Banque de France on Monday.


Zero growth in the first quarter and sharp drop in household consumption in March


Trade deficit: Why is France lagging behind in foreign trade?

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