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Foreign trade deficit at €3.7bn in January-April


Polish exports of goods were worth €44.8bn in the first four months of 2012, while imports totaled €48.5bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into a nominal increase of 1.5% y-o-y and a decline of 0.8% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit amounted to €3.7bn, compared with €4.8bn in the corresponding period of 2011.

Poland’s trade balance with the countries of the European Union as well as with the wider category of developed countries improved markedly over this period, showing surpluses of €7bn and €6.1bn, respectively. And so did the balance with developing countries, with the deficit narrowing by about 10% to €5.8bn. By contrast, the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased by over 30% to €4bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, by far the highest increase in exports was to Russia (up by 29% y-o-y) and Ukraine (up by 21.4% y-o-y). Exports to four other countries showed growth in the low single digits: to the Netherlands by 4.9% y-o-y, to Great Britain by 4% y-o-y, to the Czech Republic by 2% y-o-y and to Slovakia by 1.7% y-o-y. Exports to Germany, the country’s biggest export market, slipped 0.4% y-o-y. Exports to France were down by 2.4% y-o-y, to Italy by 8.5% y-o-y and to Sweden by 9.3% y-o-y.

The biggest increase in imports was also with Russia (up by 27.8% y-o-y), followed at a wide distance by the United States (up by 10% y-o-y). Imports from the Czech Republic went up by 4% y-o-y and from China by 1.5% y-o-y. Imports from the remaining top-ten countries were lower than in January-April 2011. Thus imports from the Netherlands slipped 0.5% y-o-y, imports from South Korea were down by 1.9% y-o-y, and from Germany by 3.5% y-o-y. Imports from France slumped by 10.3% y-o-y, from Italy by 11.8% y-o-y, and from Great Britain by 16% y-o-y.

By way of comparison, in 2011 as a whole the trade deficit amounted to €14.7bn, i.e. approximately 3.9% of GDP.

Foreign trade in Poland (%, y-o-y), 2004-2011 and January-April 2012

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