Albania’s foreign trade deficit widened by 8.4% y/y to ALL 56.8bn (EUR 405.8bn) in Q1 2014, the statistics institute INSTAT informed. The gap accounted for 4.1% of the projected full-year GDP, up from 3.9% of GDP a year earlier, according to IntelliNews calculations.
The higher deficit came as imports increased by 10.1% y/y. At the same time, exports advanced by 11.6% y/y but in absolute term this was unable to offset higher imports.
The growth in imports was mainly driven by the group of minerals, fuels, electricity, which advanced by 17% y/y in the period. The imports of machinery and equipment, which was country’s second largest import group, rose by 4% y/y in Q1. Imports of textile and footwear, wood and paper as well as of leather saw a double-digit growth in the period. The group of food, beverages and tobacco as well as the chemical and plastics were the only exceptions from the growth pattern on the import side in the Q1.
The growth in exports was mainly driven by the group of textile and footwear, which increased by 31% on the year. This was the country’s largest export sector with 36.3% share in total. Second largest was the minerals, fuels and electricity, which registered a 3.5% annual drop in Q1. Among other sectors, exports of chemicals and plastics as well as of wood and paper witnessed a double-digit growth in the period. However, in nominal terms these two sectors had a relatively small (5.2%) share in total exports.
In March alone, the country's trade deficit increased by 11.3% y/y to ALL 21bn. Exports grew by 10.3% y/y to ALL 21.3bn and imports rose by 10.7% y/y to ALL 42.3bn.
|Foreign trade in Q1 2014, ALL mn|
|Import||% y/y||Export||% y/y|
|Food, beverages, tobacco||19,348||-1.0||3,210||27.5|
|Minerals, fuels, electricity||22,061||17.0||20,628||-3.5|
|Chemical and plastics||13,711||-0.3||701||23.2|
|Wood and paper||4,700||22.6||2,372||58.6|
|Textile and footwear||14,362||25.8||21,574||31.0|
|Construct. materials and metals||14,821||12.7||7,360||0.3|
|Machinery, equipment, spare parts||20,750||4.0||1,981||6.8|
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