Albania’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 23.2% y/y to ALL 73.5bn (EUR 519mn) in January to April 2013, the statistics institute INSTAT informed. The gap accounted for 5.1% of the projected full-year GDP, down from 7% a year earlier, according to IntelliNews calculations. The lower deficit came as exports increased by 16.5% y/y, while imports declined by 7.3% y/y. Imports in the first four months of 2013 were two times the amount of exports.
The growth in exports was mainly driven by the group of minerals, fuels, electricity, which advanced by 33% y/y in Jan-April 2013. It has become the country’s largest export sector since April 2012, and currently accounts for 39% of total exports. Exports of textile and footwear, which was the second largest export sector, registered a 6.9% 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 weight in total.
On the import side, the group of minerals, fuels and electricity witnessed the steepest annual drop of 27%. In addition, imports of machinery and equipment, construction materials as well as of food also dropped in the period. In April alone, the trade deficit decreased by 5.3% y/y to ALL 20.8bn. Exports grew 14.4% y/y to ALL 20.6bn and imports advanced by 3.6% y/y to ALL 41.4bn.
|Foreign trade in Jan-Apr 2013, ALL bn|
|Import||% y/y||Export||% y/y|
|Food, beverages, tobacco||28.1||-3.7||3.6||4.9|
|Minerals, fuels, electricity||26.2||-26.5||29.0||33.0|
|Chemical and plastics||20.1||10.0||0.8||25.9|
|Wood and paper||5.2||9.0||2.0||32.6|
|Textile and footwear||15.4||4.1||22.1||6.9|
|Construct. materials and metals||17.5||-6.9||11.5||12.4|
|Machinery, equipment, spare parts||27.5||-7.9||2.5||-12.1|
|Source: INSTAT, Intellinews calculations|
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