Albania’s foreign trade gap narrows 22.2% y/y in H1 2013.

By bne IntelliNews July 25, 2013

Albania’s foreign trade deficit declined by 22.2% y/y to ALL 115.8bn (EUR 825.7mn) in H1 2013, the statistics institute INSTAT informed. The gap accounted for 8.1% of the projected full-year GDP, down from 10.9% a year earlier, according to IntelliNews calculations. The lower deficit came as exports increased by 17.3% y/y, while imports declined by 6.3% y/y.

The growth in exports was mainly driven by the group of minerals, fuels, electricity, which advanced by 44.6% y/y in the first six months of 2013. It has become the country’s largest export sector since April 2012, and currently accounts for 41.3% of total exports. Exports of textile and footwear, which was the second largest export sector, registered a 8.1% y/y rise in the period. Exports of chemicals and plastics, leather, wood and paper witnessed double digit growth in the period. However, in nominal terms these three sectors have relatively small (5.2%) share in total exports.

On the import side, the group of minerals, fuels and electricity witnessed the steepest annual drop of 23.2%. In addition, imports of machinery and equipment, construction materials as well as of food also dropped in the period.

In June alone, the trade deficit narrowed by 27.8% y/y to ALL 20.6bn. Exports grew 17.2% y/y to ALL 20.8bn and imports were down by 10.5% y/y to ALL 41.3bn.

Foreign trade in H1 2013, ALL bn
  Import % y/y Export % y/y
Total 233.7 -6.3 117.9 17.3
Food, beverages, tobacco 43.4 -3.2 6.3 7.2
Minerals, fuels, electricity 41.0 -23.2 48.7 44.6
Chemical and plastics 33.5 13.2 1.4 34.6
Leather 5.5 15.0 1.7 17.0
Wood and paper 8.8 11.6 3.1 35.5
Textile and footwear 25.4 7.6 33.8 8.1
Construct. materials and metals 27.7 -8.6 16.9 -10.4
Machinery, equipment, spare parts 41.6 -11.5 4.1 0.9
Others 6.8 -14.6 2.0 -4.2
Source: INSTAT, Intellinews calculations       

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