Serbia’s exports amounted to €9.89bn in January-August, an increase of 13.4% against the same period of 2016, the country's statistics office said in a statement on September 29. Expressed in US dollars, the value of exports was $10.9bn, up 11.9% y/y.
Serbia is trying to increase its exports by improving bilateral relations, primarily with China, the US, Russia and EU member states (especially Italy and Germany) and that way attract their businesspeople to invest in Serbia. An important driver for foreign investors has been Serbia’s EU accession process, which has been advancing gradually within the last year and half. A positive trend in overall external trade was seen in 2015 and 2016 when the country’s foreign trade increased 6.6% y/y and 8.4% y/y in euro terms, respectively.
During the first eight months of this year, Serbia’s imports hit €12.53bn, up 13.1% y/y. In dollar terms imports stood at $13.8bn, up 11.6% in annual terms.
Serbia’s overall external trade increased by 13.2% y/y in January-August, reaching €22.42bn, while in US dollars external trade went up by 11.8% to $22.42bn.
The export-import ratio in January-August equalled 78.9% and was higher than in the same period of 2016, when it was 78.7%.
In the first eight months of the year, the trade deficit stood at $2.91bn, which was an increase of 10.5% against the same period of last year, while the deficit expressed in euro terms amounted to €2.64bn, which was an increase of 11.8% y/y.
European Union member countries accounted for 64.3% of Serbia’s total external trade in January-August.
Serbia’s major foreign trade partners in exports in the eight months period were Italy ($1.47bn), Germany ($1.39bn), Bosnia & Herzegovina ($861.1mn), Russia ($656.2mn) and Romania ($555.7mn). Meanwhile, Serbia was mostly importing from Germany ($1.75bn), Italy ($1.38bn), China ($1.09bn), Russia ($1.03bn) and Hungary ($645.2mn).
In August, Serbian exports were worth €1.19bn, or $1.4bn, an increase of 14.7% in euro terms and 20.6% in US dollar terms, compared to August 2016. Imports stood at €1.53bn, or $1.81bn, increasing 12.9% in euro terms and 18.8% in dollar terms.