Albania’s 2019 foreign trade gap widens 5.7% y/y

Albania’s 2019 foreign trade gap widens 5.7% y/y
Annual change in foreign trade
By bne IntelliNews January 19, 2020

Albania’s trade deficit deepened 5.7% year on year to around ALL350bn (€2.87bn) in 2019. Exports fell 3.8% y/y to ALL299bn, while imports moved up by 1.2% y/y to ALL649bn, the statistics institute INSTAT said on January 17.

In 2018, Albania’s trade gap totalled ALL331bn, narrowing by 6.2% from a year earlier. Albania has historically run a substantial trade deficit caused by its narrow production and export base, and has partly funded this with remittances from Albanians living abroad.

In December, the trade gap decreased by 12.6% y/y at ALL34bn. Exports rose 1.2% to ALL22bn, while imports went down 7.6% to ALL55bn.

The main group that influenced the increase of exports in December were: minerals, fuels and electricity (7.2 pp).

Trade exchanges with EU countries accounted for 62.8% of overall trade in the last month of the year. Albania's main trading partners were Italy (29.1%), Turkey (9.2%), Germany (7.4%) and China (7.2%).

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Albania’s current account deficit is forecast to reach 6.6% of GDP in 2019 and 6.4% in 2020, following a gap of 6.8% of GDP in 2018.