Bosnia’s trade gap widens 5.4% y/y to EUR 485mn in Jan-Feb 2014

By bne IntelliNews March 25, 2014

Bosnia’s trade gap widened 5.4% y/y to BAM 949.3mn (EUR 485.4mn) in January-February 2014, as imports increased slightly faster than exports over the period, the statistics office said in a statement. The export-import coverage ratio remained broadly unchanged on the year at 58.2% in January-February.

Exports grew 5.1% y/y to BAM 1.32bn in the first two months of the year, as key manufacturing sales abroad increased 7.6% y/y to BAM 1.17bn (89% share in total). The reading was underpinned by higher sales of leather, coke and refined petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fabricated metal products, wood and wearing apparel. On the other hand, falling basic metals output continued to dent the overall export growth. January-February sales of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply abroad declined 21.1% y/y to BAM 61.0mn, reflecting high prior year base.

Imports rose 5.2% y/y to BAM 2,269.9mn in January-February thanks to stronger domestic demand for textiles, leather, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, machinery and equipment and electricity.

Exports to the European Union, which remains Bosnia’s main trade partner, went up 3.1% y/y to BAM 984.58mn (75% share in total exports), while imports from the union (59% share in total) increased at a faster pace by 5.6% to BAM 1.34bn over the period.

Bosnia’s foreign trade deficit contracted 8.2% y/y to BAM 6.8bn in 2013 after increasing 1.3% the year before thanks to higher manufacturing and utilities exports.

Net exports have been the main driver of Bosnia’s economic recovery last year. The country's GDP expanded by a mild 0.8% in 2013 following a 1.1% contraction in 2012. The IMF expects the economy to grow by 2.0% in 2014 but to stay below its pre-crisis level of around 6% in 2006-2008 in the mid-term.

Bosnia's Foreign trade Jan-Feb'13 %,y/y Jan-Feb'14 %,y/y
Exports,BAM mn 1,256.8 16.1 1,320.6 5.1
Imports,BAM mn 2,157.5 11.3 2,269.9 5.2
Trade balance,BAM  mn -900.7 5.2 -949.3 5.4
Source: Institute of statistics        

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