Belgium Sees Continued Decline in Imports and Exports, Driven by Automotive Trade

Belgium experiences a persistent decline in both imports and exports, with a notable decrease of -22.7% and -17.8%, respectively, over the past three months (June to August 2023). This adds to the negative trend observed since the beginning of the year.

Noteworthy is the surge in the trade of transportation equipment, particularly the robust increase in imports and exports of passenger cars, especially electric vehicles. The overall value of international trade has diminished, mainly due to decreasing prices in major product categories, except for machines, electrical equipment, and food products.

A remarkable trend unfolds in the automotive sector, marked by a substantial rise in imports of electric cars from China. This surge, attributed to lower prices of Chinese brands and favorable import taxes, has led to a monthly import volume ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 units, contributing significantly to Belgium’s automotive sector.

The growth is not limited to imports; Belgium’s exports of transportation equipment, fueled by the export of electric vehicles, have almost doubled in the first eight months of the year, reaching 10.8 billion euros compared to 5.5 billion in the same period in 2022. France, the Netherlands, and Norway are the primary destinations for these electric vehicles, reflecting a widespread expansion in the sector.

The overall trade scenario indicates a nuanced economic landscape, with certain sectors facing challenges while others, such as electric vehicles, show resilience and growth.