The data for the first six months of 2013 show a decline in both EU exports and imports to China, though more significantly for imports than for exports, Eurostat, the EUs statistical office, reported today.
EU exports to China fell from 73 bn euro in the first six months of 2012 to 71 bn in the first six months of 2013, while imports decreased from 141 bn to 134 bn.
As a result, the EU trade deficit reduced from 68 bn in the first six months of 2012 to 62 bn in the first six months of 2013.
China is the EU's second most important trading partner after the USA.
The figures were released on the occasion of the 16th European Union - China summit, which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing.
Among the 28 EU Member States, Germany (32.4 bn euro) was by far the largest exporter to China in the first six months of 2013, followed by France (7.2 bn) and the United Kingdom (6.3 bn).
Germany (27.7 bn) was also the largest importer, followed by the Netherlands (24.9 bn) the United Kingdom (18.5 bn) France (11.9 bn) and Italy (11.5 bn).