Moldova’s foreign trade gap remained above $1bn in the third quarter of the year for the second quarter in a row, as the imports of petroleum products nearly doubled and natural gas tripled in value terms, over the same period of last year.
The country's foreign trade gap hit a record value of $375mn (€318mn) in September.
Imports rose driven by robust domestic demand, in addition to the high energy prices.
The share of natural gas and petroleum products in total imports, however, increased significantly to 13.9% of total imports in the quarter, from 8.3% in the same period of 2020.
Nevertheless, imports have increased at high rates for other consumer goods as well, demonstrating that the overall 25.6% y/y advance (to $1.8bn) of total imports was driven by demand factors, besides the supply factors visible in the energy sector.
Thus, the import of vehicles increased by 33% y/y to 6.3% of total imports in Q3. Imports of clothes rose by 27% y/y to 3.1% of total imports in the quarter.
Moldova’s exports increased sharply as well, by 36% y/y in the third quarter of the year — but, due to the low base, this brought them to only $772mn, less than half the value of imports in the same period of time.
Notably, Moldova's exports to CIS states rose well above average, by 41% y/y while those to Europe (Moldova’s main trade partner) by only 7.7% y/y.