(AGI) Rome, June 17 - Italy's imports and exports rose by 3.9 and 2.7 percent respectively in April, the Italian national statistics institute (ISTAT) announced on Friday. The institute also emphasised that the trade surplus in April reached 4.5 billion euros, an increase compared to 3.5 billion the same month last year. Trade surplus over the first four months of 2016 totalled 13.6 billion euros, or 21.5 billion net of energy products. The growth trend in exports in April, it explained, rests on the two main target markets, with a more marked increase of 3.9 percent towards extra-EU markets. All of the principal groupings of assets are on the rise, with the exception of energy products, which dropped by 3.5 percent. Exports were stationary in the February-April quarter compared to the previous one, due to a feeble increase in extra-EU sales (plus 0.1 percent) and a small drop towards the EU (minus 0.1 percent). Growth was stronger net of energy products (up 0.5 percent), with capital goods registering the highest expansion at 2.4 percent. The 1.0 percent decrease in exports in April is exclusively attributable to the extra-EU area, where they fell by 3.6 percent, ISTAT said. The rough variation, net of the correction for working days (20 in April 2016 against 21 in April 2015), is of plus 1.2 percent. Refined petroleum products sales dropped steeply (minus 29.7 percent), while sales for means of transportation, excluding auto vehicles, rose by 15.6 percent, contrasting the tendential drop in exports. Exports towards Germany and Spain rose by 3.4 and 5.2 percent respectively, higher than the EU average of plus 1.2 percent. The circumstantial drop of 4.3 percent in imports derives exclusively from the extra-EU area (a 13.0 percent decrease) and the acquisitions of energy products (down 39.7 percent) and intermediate products (minus 5.9 percent). The ISTAT noted that there was a tendential drop in the value stream over the first four months of the year (minus 0.5 percent for exports and 2.8 percent for imports), but not in volume (plus 0.2 percent exports, 3.8 percent imports). The quota of Italian exports in the euro area dropped slightly compared to the same period last year as a result of a decrease in the quota for extra-EU exports (from 13.5 percent in the first four months of 2015 to 13.3 percent in the same period this year), and an increase in the EU (from 9.5 percent in the first four months of 2015 to 9.7 percent in the same period this year). (AGI). .