Macedonia’s foreign trade gap widened by 1% y/y to USD 1.03bn in Jan-May 2014, the statistics office said. We estimate that the five-month deficit is equal to 9.6% of the projected 2014 GDP. Both exports and imports registered double-digit growth rates - exports rose 18.5% y/y to USD 1.95bn in Jan-May, and imports expanded by 11.8% y/y to USD 2.98bn.
In May alone, the deficit fell 2.7% y/y to USD 225mn, as exports climbed 27.9% y/y to USD 422.3mn and imports grew 15.3% y/y to USD 647.3mn.
The EU-28 countries accounted for 78.9% of Macedonia’s exports and for 64.4% of its imports in the first five months of the year. Macedonia’s exports to the EU grew 27.9% y/y to USD 1.54bn, and imports from the bloc rose 20% y/y to USD 1.92bn.
Macedonia's main export markets were Germany (accounting for 41.8% of Jan-May exports), Bulgaria (6.8%), Italy (6.6%), and Serbia (5.2%). Imports came mainly from the UK (13.1%), Germany (11.1%), Greece (9.6%), and Serbia (8.3%).
In Jan-May 2014, top export products were: supported catalysts with precious metal or precious metal compounds as the active substance; ferro-silicon; ferro-nickel; ignition wiring sets and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft or ships; iron and steel products (flat-rolled products); and clothes. The main imported goods included oil; platinum and platinum alloys; electricity; and other metals of the platinum group and alloys thereof.
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