Romania’s Q2 trade gap shrinks 60% y/y as exports jump 7.2% y/y

By bne IntelliNews August 9, 2013

Romania’s exports increased by 7.2% y/y to EUR 12.13bn in Q2, according to calculations based on statistics office data. In Q1 exports were 4.6% up on the year, therefore the combined growth rate for H1 was 5.9% y/y.

Although still far from the above-20% annual growth rates seen in 2010-2011, the exports’ performance this year is particularly encouraging.

Furthermore, imports decreased by 2.7% y/y in H1 on the back subdued demand and particularly subdued demand for energy inputs [natural gas, petroleum products, coal].

Consequently, the trade deficit narrowed significantly by 58% y/y* to EUR 1.47bn in H1. In Q2 alone, the trade gap shrank 60% y/y. For comparison, the trade deficit was roughly steady at EUR 7.4bn in full years 2011 and 2012.

The exports’ geographical orientation remains dominated by shipments to the EU area, which accounted for 70% of total exports in H1. The modest shift toward non-EU countries seen in Q1 faded away in Q2. Specifically, while the exports to the non-EU area increased steeper than those to the EU [by 10.9% y/y against 2.2% y/y] in Q1, the dynamics reversed in Q2 when the exports to EU countries strengthened above the average by 7.8% y/y versus the still strong 5.9% y/y advance of the exports to non-EU states.

For full H1, however, one can conclude that the exports to non-EU countries advanced stronger, supporting the scenario of a certain shift in the geographical orientation in Romania’s sales abroad.

The exports’ performance was visibly driven by the automobile industry. Exports of transportation means accounted for 42.7% of total exports in H1 this year, up from 40.9% in the like period of 2012. Exports of fuels and lubricants edged down to 4.7% of total from 5.4% last year as the refining industry witnessed certain outage periods in 2013.

* for the FOB/FOB trade deficit that we estimate based on statistics office data

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Q1-13 Q2-13 H1-13
FOB Exports 33,725 29,084 37,368 45,275 45,056 11,580 12,130 23,709
FOB Exports %, y/y 15% -14% 28% 21% 0% 4.6% 7.2% 5.9%
CIF Imports 57,240 38,953 46,902 54,948 54,684 12,654 13,609 26,262
CIF Imports %, y/y 12% -32% 20% 17% 0% -1.1% -4.2% -2.7%
FOB Imports* 52,834 35,955 44,968 52,683 52,430 12,132 13,048 25,180
FOB/FOB Balance* -19,109 -6,870 -7,600 -7,408 -7,374 -552 -918 -1,470
Balance %, y/y* 9% -64% 11% -3% 0% -53.7% -60.2% -58.0%
Source: INS, *IntelliNews estimates

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