bne IntelliNews – Moldova’s trade deficit widens in January-May due to costly energy imports
Moldova’s trade deficit reached $1.7 billion (+8.5% year-on-year) or €1.55 billion in January-May, up 19% from the same period in 2021 , according to data published by the SNB statistics office.
The deterioration was the effect of the rise in prices paid by the country, which is totally dependent on imports of natural gas and petroleum products. The gap would have been larger, but exports of grains, oilseeds and edible oil increased significantly.
Moldova’s exports, in the first five months of the year, jumped 70% year-on-year (+770 million dollars) and reached 1.88 billion dollars. A small part of the increase was due to some $100 million of petroleum and petroleum products imported by a CIS member country (possibly Belarus, SNB data provides no indication) via Moldova.
Most of the recovery seen in Moldova’s exports was due to higher exports of grains, oilseeds and vegetable oil: combined exports jumped to $710 million, in the first five months of the year, compared to less than $160 million in the same period of 2021. Imports increased at a moderate pace and Moldova’s trade surplus for the three items increased by more than $500 million to reach $575 million in January-May.
But imports of energy products more than doubled to $871 million in January-May, from $313 million in the same period of 2021. Imports of natural gas more than tripled to $404 million . The trade deficit for both items (petroleum products and natural gas) climbed to nearly $750 million in January-May, from $300 million in the same period last year.
In May alone, Moldova’s trade deficit narrowed slightly (by 1.4% y/y) to $357m, but widened by 13% y/y to $337m euros, expressed in euros.
Exports jumped 137% year-on-year to 394 million euros, while imports rose 58% year-on-year to 731 million euros.