Albania’s foreign trade deficit widened by 6.8% y/y to ALL 35.8bn (EUR 255bn) in January to February 2014, the statistics institute INSTAT informed. The gap accounted for 2.6% of the projected full-year GDP, according to IntelliNews calculations.
The higher deficit came as imports increased by 9.5% y/y. At the same time, exports advanced by 12.2% 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 18% y/y in Jan-Feb. The imports of machinery and equipment, which was country’s second largest import group, rose by 7.6% y/y in the period. 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 was the single exception from the growth pattern on the import side in the Jan-Feb period.
The growth in exports was mainly driven by the group of textile and footwear, which increased by 26% on the year. This was the country’s largest export sector with 36.6% share in total. Second largest was the minerals, fuels and electricity, which registered a 3% annual rise in the first two months of 2014. 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 (5.1%) share in total exports.
In February alone, the country's trade deficit widened by 7.2% y/y to ALL 18.7bn. Exports increased by 27.8% y/y to ALL 20.3bn and imports rose by 17% y/y to ALL 39bn.
|Foreign trade in Jan-Feb 2014, ALL mn|
|Import||% y/y||Export||% y/y|
|Food, beverages, tobacco||11,747||-5.3||2,131||29.8|
|Minerals, fuels, electricity||14,204||18.0||12,955||3.0|
|Chemical and plastics||8,927||0.9||423||10.5|
|Wood and paper||3,107||23.4||1,538||51.1|
|Textile and footwear||9,051||25.3||13,975||26.0|
|Construct. materials and metals||9,291||9.0||4,880||-2.4|
|Machinery, equipment, spare parts||13,484||7.6||1,298||2.9|
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