Bulgaria's Q1 foreign trade gap shrinks 39% y/y on stronger exports

By bne IntelliNews May 12, 2015

Bulgaria’s foreign trade deficit (FOB/FOB) narrowed by 39.1% y/y to BGN 1.03bn (€526.1mn) in the first quarter, as exports grew faster than imports, statistics office data showed. The shortfall is equal to 1.2% of the projected 2015 GDP.

Exports increased 12.7% y/y to BGN10.7bn in Q1, whereas imports grew 4.9% y/y to BGN11.8bn. Exports to the EU rose 11.8% y/y to BGN6.9bn, whereas exports to non-EU countries (third countries) went up 14.3% y/y to BGN3.9bn. Imports from the EU expanded by 6.6% y/y to BGN7.5bn, and imports from third countries rose 2.1% y/y to BGN4.3bn.

Turkey remained Bulgaria's main export market outside the EU, buying 25.6% of the goods sold to third countries. It was followed by China (7.7%) and Serbia (5%). Russia was the main source of Bulgaria's non-EU imports with a 32.9% share, trailed by Turkey (14.5%), and China (11.9%).

In March alone, the foreign trade deficit narrowed by 53.6% y/y to BGN271.9mn, as exports soared 22.6% y/y to BGN3.9bn and imports grew 10.8% y/y to BGN4.2bn. Notably, exports to third countries surged 46.8% y/y to BGN1.5bn in March, likely supported by the weaker euro.

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