Italy posts sixth straight monthly trade surplus as oil, gas imports shrink

(Reuters) - Italy posted a sixth consecutive monthly trade surplus with the rest of the world in July, as a decline in imports of oil from OPEC countries and energy from Russia outweighed a decrease in exports, official data released on Friday show.

Italy recorded a trade surplus of 6.375 billion euros ($6.80 billion) in the month, compared with a deficit of 460 million euros the year before, national statistics office ISTAT said.

An annual decrease of 19.4% in imports stems from widening declining trends in the prices of energy and intermediate goods both in the European Union and outside, the institute said.

Italian exports fell 7.7% year-on-year in July, driven by a drop in sales of pharmaceutical, chemical-medical and botanic products to Belgium, metal products to Germany and refining products to France and the United States.

ISTAT posted an "unplanned revision" to its March and June world trade readings, reducing them sharply to surpluses of 3.327 billion euros and 3.461 billion euros respectively, citing delays in acquiring input data with partners from outside the EU.

Previously reported figures indicated surpluses of 7.623 billion euros in March and 7.718 billion euros in June.

With European Union countries, Italy registered a July trade surplus of 1.331 billion euros, compared with a surplus of 2.367 billion euros in the same month in 2022. ($1 = 0.9378 euros)

(Reporting by Alessandro Parodi and Enrico Sciacovelli, editing by Antonella Cinelli/Keith Weir)