Montenegro's foreign trade gap shrank 3.9% to EUR 1.4bn in 2013 following a 6.2% expansion a year ago, as exports increased whereas imports declined, statistics office data showed. The deficit equalled to 42.2% of the full-year GDP projection, down from 46% a year ago, according to IntelliNews calculations.
The 2013 export-import coverage ratio strengthened to 21.2% from 20.1% in 2012 but remained among the lowest in the region.
Exports rose 2.4% to EUR 376mn in 2013, following a 19.3% contraction the year before. The increase was mainly driven by higher sales abroad of electricity (up 150% to EUR 96mn), metalliferous ores and metal scrap (up 8% to 34mn) and cork and wood (up 14% to EUR 17mn), which cumulatively accounted for around 40% of total exports.
Imports shrank 2.6% to EUR 1.8bn last year, after edging down 0.2% in 2012, dragged down by lower demand for petroleum and petroleum products (down 11% to EUR 191mn), electricity (down 49% to EUR 54mn), and road vehicles (down 5% to EUR 92mn).
The trade gap with EU28 increased by a moderate 1.2% to EUR 628mn (45% share in total trade deficit) as exports dropped by 17.5% y/y to EUR 156mn, while imports shrank 3.2% to EUR 784mn. On the other hand, the country's trade gap with CEFTA countries narrowed by 10.3% y/y to EUR 501mn (36% share in total trade gap) on the back of a 29.3% growth in exports and 2.2% lower imports.
In December alone, the trade gap widened by 6.8% y/y to EUR 114.3mn as imports (up 6.7% y/y to EUR 149mn) grew faster than exports (up 6.4% to EUR 35mn).
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