Rise in textile exports pushes up Albania’s exports in September

Rise in textile exports pushes up Albania’s exports in September
/ Instat
By bne IntelliNews October 18, 2022

Albania’s exports reached ALL39bn (€333mn) in September, increasing by 16.3% year on year and 9.5% compared to the previous month, data from statistics office Instat showed. 

The biggest contributor to the annual rise in exports was the textiles and footwear sector. Exports from Albania’s large textiles and footwear sector grew strongly, pushing up total exports by 5.8 percentage points (pp). 

Albania’s strength in this area dates back to the communist era, when textile production and garment manufacturing was one of the most important sectors of the economy. It developed later thanks to Albania’s low costs and its proximity to Italy, one of the world’s fashion capitals. However, the sector was badly hit by the pandemic, and is only now recovering. 

This also contributed to the 16.8% y/y increase in exports to Italy. Typically, clothes and shoes are exported almost complete from Albania to Italy, where Italian workers add the final touches and packaging, allowing the products to go out to the shops with the prestigious ‘Made in Italy’ label.

Another major contributor to the overall increase in exports was mineral, fuels and electricity, which added 5.2 pp, followed by machinery, equipment and spare parts (3.0 pp). 

However, exports in some segments decreased, with a fall in exports of construction materials and metals dragging down total growth by 1.3 pp. 

Meanwhile, Albania’s imports also showed a substantial increase in September, rising by 27.4% y/y and 10.5% month on month to reach ALL88bn. That left Albania with a substantial trade deficit of ALL49bn, up 37.6% y/y and 11.3% m/m. 

Albania, like other countries, has been affected by rising costs of imported products, with costs accelerating since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The biggest contributors to the annual rise in imports were construction materials and metals (8.8 pp), minerals, fuels and electricity (5.7 pp) and machinery, equipment and spare parts (5.2 pp).