Albania’s foreign trade gap widens 6.8% y/y in Jan-Feb 2014.

By bne IntelliNews March 31, 2014

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
Total 73,942 9.5 38,163 12.2
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
Leather 1,872 41.3 428 -11.5
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
Others 2,258 7.4 534 -1.6
Source: INSTAT         

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