The 27-member European Union posted a $4.6 billion deficit on trade in goods in May, a sharp decline from April, Eurostat said Monday.
In the prior month, the deficit stood at $15.4 billion. A year earlier in May, the deficit stood at $17.7 billion.
While the larger EU had a loss, the 17-member eurozone, countries that share the euro as currency, posted a surplus of $8.4 billion, up from April's $6.5 billion surplus.
The surplus for the currency region compares to a deficit of $1.4 billion in May 2011.
For the EU, the energy deficit came to $177.3 billion for January through April of 2011. A year earlier across the same period, the energy deficit was $154.1 billion.
EU exports jumped notably with Russia, up 19 percent and Brazil, up 18 percent. In trades with most countries, exports rose. Exports shrank in trades with Turkey, off 5 percent, and India, down 1 percent.
Imports increased in trading with Norway, up 13 percent, the United States, up 8 percent, and Russia, up 7 percent.