Albania’s foreign trade gap narrows 15.6% y/y in 2013.

By bne IntelliNews January 29, 2014

Albania’s foreign trade deficit shrank 15.6% y/y to ALL 266.2bn (EUR 1.9bn) in 2013, the statistics institute INSTAT informed. The gap accounted for 19.8% of the projected full-year GDP, down from 24% a year earlier, according to IntelliNews calculations.

The lower deficit came as exports increased by 15.6% y/y, while imports declined by 3% y/y. The growth in exports was mainly driven by the group of minerals, fuels, electricity, which advanced by 30.6% y/y in 2013. It has become the country’s largest export sector since April 2012 and currently accounts for 40.4% of total exports.

Exports of textile and footwear, which was the second largest export sector, advanced by 11.7% y/y in 2013. Exports of chemicals and plastics, leather, wood and paper witnessed a double-digit growth in the period. However, in nominal terms these three sectors have a relatively small (5.7%) share in total exports.

On the import side, the group of minerals, fuels and electricity witnessed the steepest annual drop of 16.3%. In addition, imports of machinery and equipment, construction materials as well as of food also dropped in the period.

In December alone, the country's trade deficit widened by 13.5% y/y to ALL 32.8bn. Exports increased by 19.5% y/y to ALL 21.4n and imports rose by 18.5% y/y to ALL 54.2bn.

Foreign trade in 2013, ALL mn 
  Import % y/y Export % y/y
Total 512,527 -3.0 246,351 15.6
Food, beverages, tobacco 93,344 0.2 14,646 14.3
Minerals, fuels, electricity 92,416 -16.3 99,418 30.6
Chemical and plastics 68,194 3.3 2,887 42.5
Leather 11,381 17.0 3,193 15.1
Wood and paper 20,298 12.1 8,000 49.4
Textile and footwear 54,123 12.0 69,353 11.7
Construct. materials and metals 63,280 -7.0 36,173 -10.0
Machinery, equipment, spare parts 94,169 -3.7 8,246 7.9
Others 15,322 -9.0 4,435 11.9
Source: INSTAT         

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