Albania’s trade deficit widened 9.3% y/y to around ALL106bn (€868mn) in the first four months of the year. Exports fell 2.3% y/y to ALL99bn, while imports went up 3.2% y/y ALL205bn, the statistics institute INSTAT said on May 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 April, the trade gap increased 17.4% y/y at ALL30bn. Exports edged down 0.2% to ALL27bn while imports moved up 8.4% to ALL57bn.
In the fourth fourth of the year, exports of machinery, construction materials and food had the largest positive influence on overall exports, 2.2 pp, 2 pp and 1.9 pp, respectively. However the exports of minerals, fuels and tobacco made a negative contribution of -8.6 pp.
The rise of imports was mainly a result of higher imports of construction materials, minerals, fuels and electricity as well as machinery, which contributed to the overall increase by 3.3 pp, 3.2 pp and 2.2 pp, respectively.
Trade exchanges with EU countries accounted for 63.3% of overall trade in April. Albania's main trading partners were Italy (31.2%), Greece (7.9%), China (7%) and Turkey (6.8%).