Romania’s exports rise 7.7% y/y in November, up 9% in Jan-Nov 2013

By bne IntelliNews January 9, 2014

Romania’s exports continued to rise robustly in November - by 7.7% y/y to EUR 4.5bn, contributing to the significant 9% y/y advance in Jan-Nov 2013, according to statistics office data.

Exports in the rolling 12 months ending November expanded by 8% y/y reaching EUR 48.8bn, according to IntelliNews calculations. Romania’s exports have stagnated around EUR 45bn in 2012 after record growth rates of above 20% y/y in each of the previous two years [2010 and 2011]. The 12-month rolling exports as of November 2013 were 44.5% above the pre-crisis peak level reached in September 2008.

Of the EUR 45.7bn exports in Jan-Nov, 41.9% were exports of transport means - automobiles, other vehicles and also non-road transport means. Exports of agrifood – mainly grains, accounted for 8.4% of total. Other relevant export items were raw materials such as wood and unprocessed steel [6.2%], chemicals [5.7%] and fuels plus lubricants [5%].

IntelliNews Comment: Exports have driven the growth in 2013 and are expected to boost the GDP in the coming couple of years, as the domestic consumption and investments remain subdued. Notably, a certain improvement in the use of EU funds in 2013 indicates that a similar pattern in 2014 might contribute to a certain recovery in domestic investments.

On the downside, the outlook on credit expansion remains weak, which would keep downward pressure on investments. Amid the uncertain dynamics of domestic demand, exports will remain the key growth driver in the coming years.

The question is whether such high growth rates of exports are sustainable in the medium turn. Despite the exports’ risky reliance on certain large companies [Ford, Renault, Rompetrol] and on the size of the crops [hence on the weather], we remain optimistic about the further expansion of exports. There is even more ground to expect a further improvement in the trade balance. The improvement could also come from lower imports caused by local producers taking more advantage of local market.

  2010 2011 2012  Q1 13   Q2 14   Q3 14  Oct-14 Nov-14
FOB Exports 37,368 45,275 45,056 11,581 12,133 12,766 4,702 4,524
FOB exports %, y/y 28% 21% 0% 4.6% 7.2% 14.7% 12.0% 7.7%
CIF Imports 46,902 54,948 54,703 12,657 13,588 14,393 5,345 4,913
CIF imports %, y/y 20% 17% 0% -1.1% -4.4% 4.8% 0.7% 6.1%
FOB Imports* 44,968 52,683 52,447 12,135 13,027 13,800 5,125 4,711
FOB/CIF Balance -9,534 -9,674 -9,646 -1,076 -1,455 -1,627 -644 -389
Balance y/y -3% 1% 0% -37.5% -49.8% -37.4% -42.1% -9.0%
FOB/FOB Balance* -7,600 -7,408 -7,391 -554 -895 -851 -423 -187
Balance %, y/y* 11% -3% 0% -53.6% -61.3% -58.2% -52.6% -21.2%
Source: INS, *IntelliNews estimates

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