Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first nine months of 2015 fell by 12.75%, compared to the same period of last year, to slightly over USD 7.3 billion and the trade gap declined by 1.3% year-on-year to USD 4.02 billion in the same period, according to figures released last week by the state statistics office.
Imports declined 9% year-on-year in January-September 2015 to USD 5.66 billion.
Actual drop in value of imports was even larger – about 14% – if excluding one-off import of donated C hepatitis medicines, which, according to the Healthcare Ministry, stood at GEL 750 million (roughly USD 313.8 million).
After subtracting value of this one-off import, the trade gap in the first nine months of this year was down approximately 9% y/y to USD 3.7 billion in Jan.-Sept. 2015.
Exports declined 23.6% y/y in January-September 2015 to USD 1.65 billion, mostly due to declining re-export of vehicles and also because of falling exports to Russia.
Georgia’s trade turnover with the EU-member states increased 6% y/y in the first nine months of this year to USD 2.31 billion.
Exports to the EU reached USD 471 million, a 2% y/y increase, accounting for 29% of Georgia’s total exports in January-September, 2015, and imports were up by 7% y/y to USD 1.84 billion, accounting for 33% in country’s total imports.
Trade turnover with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declined by 22% y/y in the first nine months of 2015 to slightly over USD 2 billion.
Georgia’s exports to CIS member states declined by 44% y/y to USD 630 million, accounting for 38% of country’s total exports, and imports were down by 6% y/y to USD 1.39 billion, accounting for 25% of Georgia’s total imports.
Turkey remains Georgia’s largest trading partner with the turnover reaching USD 1.1 billion in January-September, 2015. Georgian exports to Turkey declined by 15.7% y/y to USD 145.8 million and imports were down by 23.3% compared to first nine months of last year at USD 962.9 million.
Turkey is followed by Azerbaijan with trade turnover of USD 590.7 million in the first nine months of 2015. Georgian exports to Azerbaijan declined by 53.2% y/y to USD 199.1 million, mostly due to sharp fall in re-export of vehicles from USD 207.2 million in January-September of 2014 to USD 55.1 million in the same period of 2015. Imports from Azerbaijan were down by 13.6% y/y to USD 391.5 million.
China was Georgia’s third largest trading partner in the first nine months of 2015 with USD 534.8 million. Georgian exports to China increased 35.2% y/y to USD 87.3 million, mainly because of 49.3% hike in export of copper ores and concentrates to USD 70.1 million. Imports from China were down by 18.6% to USD 447.4 million.
China is followed by Russia with the trade turnover of USD 530.3 million in January-September, 2015. Imports from Russia increased by 13% y/y to USD 418.3 million.
Exports to Russia suffered 47.1% y/y decline in the first nine months of this year to USD 112 million.
Russia was Georgia’s fifth largest export market after Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Turkey and Armenia, accounting for 6.8% of Georgia’s total exports.
In terms of total trade turnover in January-September 2015, Russia is followed by Ukraine with USD 374.2 million; Germany – USD 360.6 million; Ireland – USD 326.1 million (this figure is made almost entirely of imports from Ireland as export to this country from Georgia was only at USD 2.1 million in January-September, 2015); Bulgaria – USD 291.3 million; the United States – USD 278.7 million; Armenia – USD 268.5 million.
Copper ores and concentrates were on top of the list of Georgia’s exports in the first nine months of 2015 with USD 186.1 million, 7.3% y/y decline; followed by ferroalloys – USD 158.7 million (27.6% y/y decline); re-export of vehicles, which previously led the pack of Georgia’s exports, is now on the third place with USD 140.9 million, 65.5% y/y decline; hazelnut worth of USD 113.9 million (up by 6.3% y/y); medicines – USD 96.5 million (46.8% y/y increase); nitrogen fertilizers – USD 89.5 million (4.1% y/y decline); crude oil – USD 74.5 million (over 3.3-fold increase compared to first nine months of 2014); wine – USD 65.6 million (49.6% y/y decline); mineral waters – USD 60.9 million (46.4% y/y decline); raw or semi-processed gold – USD 46.1 million (64.9% y/y increase).
One-off import of donated C hepatitis drug pushed value of imported medicines on top of the list of Georgian imports with USD 536.1 million in the nine months of 2015; followed by oil products – USD 504.1 million (down by 27.5% y/y); vehicles – USD 349.2 million (34.3% y/y decline); hydrocarbons – USD 291.6 million (21.6% y/y increase); copper ores and concentrates – USD 155.6 million (12.6% y/y increase); mobile and other wireless phones – USD 105.6 million (18.7% y/y decline); wheat – USD 84.5 million (17.6% y/y decline); cigarettes – USD 68.6 million (6.4% y/y decline); iron tubes and pipes – USD 68.2 million (up from only USD 6.4 million in the same period of last year); bars and rods of iron and steel – USD 44 million (6.5% y/y decline).