An increase was recorded in the sales of Bulgarian goods both in the EU and outside the union
The export continues to set a record. The sales of Bulgarian goods abroad increase by 18.8% in March on an annual basis, shows the preliminary data from The National Statistical Institute (NSI). The increase is the highest in the last two years and comes both from the EU countries, where the annual growth rate is 18.1% for the month, as well as from third countries (20.3%).
The reason for the acceleration of the export to the EU cannot be determined at this point as a detailed breakdown of data will be published in a month. However, for third countries, the main reasons for the increase are goods such as toys and weapons, as well as more copper and copper products. Combined with the higher price of metal on the international markets, they further pull up the index.
At the same time, the import also sharply increases – 24.8% is the upward trend compared to March last year, mainly due to non-EU goods (62.3%). The amount of foreign products sold in the country reaches 13.2 billion BGN Levs for the first three months of the year and the export amounts to 12.2 billion BGN Levs. This means that consumption is growing and it will also have a good effect on the budget due to more revenue from customs duties and VAT.
The “specific” growth for the month
The main reason for the increase in export to third countries is the larger amount of sales of the “Specific Goods and Movements” group, where the increase contributed by 11.7 % to the growth of the month. While a year ago exported goods in this category amounted to 90.7 million BGN Levs, in March this year the amount is 228.4 million BGN Levs. Under the “Combined nomenclature”, there is no detailed breakdown of the goods group. However, according to the “Standard foreign trade classification” (SITC), similar growth is seen in the category “Other various finished products”, which includes goods such as toys, stationery, weapons and ammunition. Although there is no breakdown, it is likely that part of the growth comes from the export of weapons – the reports of the companies in the sector showed a strong increase in revenues for the last year and the trend continues throughout this year.
The other key factor for the acceleration of export is the non-ferrous metals and in particular the copper. The contribution of the sales of copper and copper products to third countries reached 7.4%. The reasons for the increased importance of the metal are two. On the one hand, Bulgaria exports larger quantities this year than last, while the effect of higher prices on international markets additionally increases the amount of sales.
Unlike the previous months, the fuels this time pull downwards the export to third countries – their contribution to March growth is negative (5.9 percentage points). The unusual change comes as a result of a sharp contraction in the export volumes, which are down with 83% on an annual basis. Decrease is seen in countries that are traditional successors of Bulgarian fuels, such as Turkey, The United Arab Emirates and Singapore. The amount of sales in non-EU countries declined from 114.1 million BGN Levs last year to 45.4 million BGN Levs in March 2017.
Goods with the largest and lowest contribution to growth
In million BNG Levs
Data from Тhe National Statistical Institute (NSI)
Turkey continues to be the largest trading partner of the country outside the EU – the value of Bulgarian goods sold for the first three months reaches slightly over 1 billion BGN Levs. Compared to the same period last year, it was 866.1 million BGN Levs. On second place ranks China with 324.6 million BGN Levs and on third is Egypt (305.5 million BGN Levs).
In the first three months of 2017 the imported goods in the country exceeded the exported by nearly 1.1 billion BGN Levs, thus the trade balance remained in minus. To compare, a year earlier the difference was negative, but it was smaller – 377.4 million BGN Levs. The reason for the increase is the stronger import this year.