Romania’s trade gap keeps widening, although at a slower pace

Romania’s trade gap keeps widening, although at a slower pace
By bne IntelIiNews January 12, 2021

Romania’s imports have decreased at a slower rate compared to exports since the crisis emerged in early 2020, but the foreign trade gap has continued to widen, according to the latest data released by the statistics office (INS).

The trend (12-month average) increase in the rolling 12-month trade deficit eased to 7.8% y/y in November 2020, less than half the 18.5% rate seen in November 2019.

The trade gap in the rolling 12-month period ending November rose by 5.7% y/y to €18.2bn, up nearly €1bn (€967mn) compared to one year earlier.

Romania’s exports over the 12 months ended in November contracted by 10% y/y to €61.9bn while imports contracted by only 6.8% y/y to €80.1bn.

In November, exports rose by 0.6% y/y to just over €6bn, the first positive annual growth since February (before the crisis).

Still, the imports picked up slightly more, by 1.5% y/y to €7.8bn - resulting in a €1.6bn trade gap (+5.3% y/y).

Speaking of the foreign trade’s dynamics over the past year as of November, the weaker exports of grains in 2020 roughly offset the effects of the lower energy (crude oil) prices.

The drive toward wider trade gaps is mainly attributable to the large share held by imports in the consumer goods sector while the sectors offsetting part of net imports for consumption has operated at a slower pace during the crisis, a situation expected to change as global supply chains return to normal.