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|
|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|
|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|
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