Macedonia’s foreign trade gap narrowed 6.4% y/y to USD 2.12bn in the first 11 months of 2013, as exports grew faster than imports, the statistics office said. Exports increased by 5.6% y/y to USD 3.86bn in Jan-Nov 2013, whereas imports edged up 1% y/y to USD 5.98bn. We estimate that the 11-month deficit is equal to 20.8% of projected 2013 GDP.
In November alone, the deficit shrank by 13% y/y to USD 206.7mn, as exports rose by 10.2% y/y to USD 384.9mn and imports inched up 0.8% y/y to USD 591.6mn.
The EU-28 countries bought 72.6% of Macedonia’s exports and forwarded 62.4% of its imports in the first 11 months of 2013. Exports to the Union grew by 17.8% y/y to USD 2.80bn, and imports rose by 3.8% y/y to USD 3.73bn.
In Jan-Nov 2013, top export products were: supported catalysts with precious metal, or precious metal compounds as the active substance; ferro-nickel; iron and steel products (flat-rolled products); clothes; and petroleum oil preparations. The main imported goods included petroleum oil and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (other than crude); platinum and platinum alloys; electricity; and passenger motor vehicles.
Macedonia's main export partners were Germany (accounting for 35.4% of Jan-Nov exports), Bulgaria (7.7%) and Kosovo (6.6%). Key countries in terms of imports were the UK (11%), Greece (10.5%) and Germany (10.4%).
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