Bulgaria trade gap in January-October 2014 widens year-on-year

Bulgaria trade gap in January-October 2014 widens year-on-year

Sofia, January 12, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s trade deficit with both the European Union and non-EU countries widened in the first 10 months of 2014, data from the National Statistics Institute (NSI) showed on January 12.

The trade gap in the January-October period increased to 6.37 billion leva, compared to 5.53 billion leva in the same period of 2013.

Exports, in free-on-board (FOB) prices, were down 1.4 per cent in the first 10 months of 2014. Bulgaria’s exports to the other 27 member states of the EU (including Croatia, which joined the bloc in July 2013) were up 2.4 per cent during that period, but exports to non-EU countries fell by 7.1 per cent.

Bulgaria’s imports, including cost, insurance and freight (CIF prices) were up by 0.8 per cent, buoyed by imports from the EU, which rose by 3.2 per cent, while imports from non-EU countries were down 2.8 per cent.

In real terms, Bulgarian exports in January-October 2014 were 35.95 billion leva, down from 36.47 billion leva in the same period of 2013. The bulk of the trade was with the EU, which accounted for 22.44 billion leva of Bulgaria’s total exports.

The main trade partners of Bulgaria were Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece, France and Belgium, which accounted for a combined 71.1 per cent of exports to EU member states, the NSI said. Outside the EU, BUlgaria’s leading export destination was Turkey, followed by Singapore, Russia, China, Macedonia, Serbia and the US.

In the same period of last year, Bulgarian imports were 42.33 billion leva (CIF prices), including 25.82 billion leva from the EU. In terms of imports, Bulgaria’s largest trade partners within the EU were Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece and Spain; outside the EU, the main trading partners for imports were Russia, Turkey, China, Ukraine and Serbia.

The foreign trade balance of Bulgaria (export FOB – import CIF) with the EU for the period January to October 2014 was negative and added up to 3.38 billion leva, compared to 3.09 billion leva in the same period of 2013, the NSI said. The biggest annual difference was in trade with Germany, where Bulgaria had a deficit of 590 million leva in the first 10 months of 2014, compared to a surplus of 160 million leva in the same period of 2013.

The trade deficit with non-EU countries in January-October 2013 increased to 2.99 billion leva, versus 2.44 billion leva a year earlier. The gap increased despite the continued trend for reduced trade with Russia, with Bulgaria’s trade deficit with Russia diminishing to 5.78 billion leva, compared to seven billion leva in the first 10 months of 2013.