The 17-nation eurozone posted a July trade surplus of 15.6 billion euros ($20.4 billion), up from 13.6 billion euros in June despite a fall in exports, Eurostat statistics showed Monday.
The EU's Eurostat agency said exports fell 2.0 percent on the month, with imports down 1.2 percent.
For the wider 27-member EU, July saw a trade surplus of 3.1 billion euros after striking a balance in June but again exports were down, 1.7 percent, with imports falling 1.3 percent on a month-on-month basis.
Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said the fall in exports in July "heightens concerns that slower global growth is increasingly weighing down on foreign demand" while soft imports point to weaker domestic demand.
The outcome "reinforces belief that the eurozone is headed for further ... contraction in the third quarter," Archer said, noting that adjusted figures put the July trade surplus at 7.9 billion euros, down from 9.3 billion euros in June.
The eurozone economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter and another downturn in the three months to September would count as a recession.