Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in 2015 fell by 13%, compared to previous year, to slightly over USD 9.92 billion and the trade gap declined by 3.7% year-on-year to USD 5.5 billion, according to figures released by the state statistics office on Wednesday.
Imports declined by 10.1% y/y in 2015 to USD 7.72 billion.
But actual drop in value of imports was even larger – slightly over 15% – if excluding one-off import of donated C hepatitis medicines, which, according to the Healthcare Ministry, stood at EUR 400 million (roughly USD 437.6 million) in 2015.
After subtracting value of this one-off import, the trade gap last year was down by about 11.3% y/y to USD 5.08 billion.
Exports were down by 23% y/y in 2015 to USD 2.2 billion, mostly because of declined re-export of vehicles and export of ferroalloys, as well as of falling exports to Russia.
Georgia’s trade turnover with EU-member states increased 6% y/y in 2015 to USD 3.16 billion.
Exports to the EU reached USD 646 million in 2015, a 4% y/y increase, accounting for 29% of Georgia’s total exports, up from 22% in 2014. Imports from the EU were up by 6% y/y to USD 2.51 billion, accounting for 33% in country’s total imports, compared to 28% in 2014.
Trade turnover with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declined by 22% y/y to USD 2.8 billion in 2015.
Georgia’s exports to CIS member states were down by 44% y/y to USD 840 million, accounting for 38% of country’s total exports, compared to 51% in 2014. Imports from the CIS-member states were down by 7% y/y to USD 1.96 billion, accounting for 25% of Georgia’s total imports, same as in 2014.
Turkey remains Georgia’s largest trading partner with the turnover of USD 1.51 billion in 2015. Georgian exports to Turkey declined by 22.2% y/y to USD 186 million and imports were down by 23% y/y to USD 1.33 billion.
Turkey was followed by Russia with total trade turnover of USD 788.5 million. Imports from Russia increased 8.7% y/y to USD 625.6 million in 2015.
Export to Russia fell by 40.7% y/y to USD 162.8 million, mostly due to decreased exports of wines and mineral waters. Value of exported wine to Russia declined from USD 111.4 million in 2014 to USD 43.3 million in 2015 and value of exported mineral waters halved to USD 33 million.
Russia was Georgia’s fifth largest export market after Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Turkey and Armenia, accounting for 7.4% of Georgia’s total exports in 2015.
In terms of total trade turnover Russia was followed by Azerbaijan with USD 783.3 million.
Georgian exports to Azerbaijan declined from USD 544.5 million in 2014 to USD 240.4 million in 2015, mostly because of sharp fall in re-export of vehicles from USD 267.9 million in 2014 to USD 63.5 million 2015. Imports from Azerbaijan were down by 14.8% y/y to USD 542.9 million in 2015.
China was Georgia’s fourth largest trading partner in 2015 with USD 712.7 million. Exports to China increased by 39.1% y/y to USD 125.8 million, mostly due to hike in export of copper ores and concentrates. Imports from China were down by 19.9% to USD 586.9 million in 2015.
In terms of total trade turnover China was followed by Ukraine with USD 515 million; Germany – USD 507 million; Ireland – USD 458.4 million (this figure is made almost entirely of imports from Ireland as export from Georgia to this country was only at USD 2.2 million in 2015); Bulgaria – USD 381.8 million; the United States – USD 355.5 million; Armenia – USD 351.7 million.
Copper ores and concentrates were on top of the list of Georgia’s exports in 2015 with USD 270.6 million (9.1% y/y increase), followed by ferroalloys – USD 194.5 million (31.9% y/y decline); re-export of vehicles, which in previous years the pack of Georgia’s exports, is now on the third place with USD 179.6 million, 65.3% y/y decline; hazelnut – USD 176.4 million (down by 3.8% y/y); medicines – USD 140.6 million (52.8% y/y increase); nitrogen fertilizers – USD 109.7 million (20.2% y/y decline); wine – USD 95.79 million (46.9% y/y decline); crude oil – USD 84.67 million (up from USD 36.1 million in 2014); mineral waters – USD 82.2 million (40% y/y decline); non-denatured ethyl alcohol and spirits USD 64.8 million (31.8% y/y decline).
One-off import of donated C hepatitis drug pushed value of imported medicines on top of the list of Georgian imports with USD 745.3 million in 2015; followed by oil products – USD 657.4 million (down by 28.4% y/y); vehicles – USD 461.26 million (35.5% y/y decline); hydrocarbons – USD 419.4 million (13.8% y/y increase); copper ores and concentrates – USD 207.8 million (25.7% y/y increase); mobile and other wireless phones – USD 148.9 million (23.8% y/y decline); wheat – USD 118.6 million (21.8% y/y decline); cigarettes – USD 103.5 million (10.3% y/y decline); iron tubes and pipes – USD 68.2 million (up from USD 6.8 in 2014); structures and parts of structures of iron – USD 63.5 million (30% y/y decline).