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Foreign trade deficit at €6.6bn in January-August


Polish exports of goods were worth €91.9bn in the first eight months of 2012, while imports totalled €98.5bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into a nominal increase of 2.5% y-o-y and a decline of 2.3% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit amounted to €6.6bn, compared with €11.1bn 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 €13.5bn and €12.5bn, respectively. The balance with developing countries also improved, with the deficit narrowing by 5.8% y-o-y to just below €12bn. By contrast, the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased by over a tenth to €7.2bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, by far the highest increases in exports were to Russia (up by 22% y-o-y) and Ukraine (up by 21% y-o-y). Exports to the Netherlands went up by 7.7% y-o-y, to Great Britain by 7.2% y-o-y, and to Slovakia by 6.6% y-o-y. Exports to the Czech Republic were up by 1.1% y-o-y. Exports to Germany, Poland’s main trading partner accounting for just over a quarter of the country’s total exports of goods, were fractionally lower than a year earlier, as were exports to France (down by 0.1% y-o-y in both cases). Exports to Italy and to Sweden decreased by 7.4% y-o-y.

As in previous months, the biggest increase in imports was also with Russia (up by 19.6% y-o-y), with the United States a distant second at 7.5% y-o-y, followed by imports from China (up by 1.8% y-o-y). Imports from the Netherlands were flat over a year earlier. Imports from the remaining top-ten countries were lower than in January-August 2011. The smallest decrease was in imports from Belgium (down by 2.4% y-o-y), followed by the Czech Republic (down by 4.2% y-o-y) and Germany (down by 5.7% y-o-y). Imports from Italy declined by 7.9% y-o-y, from France by 8.5% y-o-y and from Great Britain by 9.6% y-o-y.

We forecast that in 2012 as a whole Polish exports of goods will rise by 2.7%, and imports by 0.1%. As a result, the foreign trade deficit will amount to €12.3bn.

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

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PMR is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern Europe as well as other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). With over fourteen years of experience, high international standards in projects and publications, highly skilled multilingual staff and a wide network of co-operating research companies and market experts, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.