Albania's trade volume during 2020 decreased by almost 7.5 percent, or 571 million euros less than in 2019, affected by the effect of the pandemic COVID 19. Data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics, INSTAT, show that the decline was due shrinkage of both exports and imports, which after the first shock they received during April, when not only the country but also other trading partners recognized the complete closure, they started to revive with a continuous tendency towards improvement, despite some fluctuations. At the end of the year, exports were at the level of almost ALL 272 billion or EUR 2,198 billion (at the current exchange rate), recording a decrease of 9 percent compared to 2019, equal to EUR 217 million.
According to INSTAT, the groups that have influenced the annual decrease in exports are: "Textiles and footwear", or tailoring industry with -5.3 percentage points, "Minerals, fuels, electricity" with -3.5 percentage points, "Construction materials and metals" by -1.2 percentage points. Meanwhile, other sectors experienced annual growth: the group "Food, beverages, tobacco" with +1.2 percentage points and the group "Machinery, equipment, spare parts" with +0.5 percentage points. Total imports during 2020 were over ALL 605 billion (EUR 4,893 billion), decreasing by 6.8 percent, or EUR 354 million less. According to INSTAT data, the groups that have mainly influenced the annual decrease of imports are: "Minerals, fuels, electricity" with -3.5 percentage points, "Textiles and footwear" with -1.8 percentage points, and "Machinery, equipment, spare parts "by -0.8 percentage points. While the group "Chemical and plastic products" had a positive impact, with +0.4 percentage points and "Food, beverages, tobacco" with +0.1 percentage points. The European Union continued to be Albania's main trade destination, accounting for 63.1 percent of all trade, amounting to 4.477 billion euros.
However compared to last year there is a decrease of 5 percentage points. Exports to EU countries accounted for 74.7 percent of total Albanian products sold abroad, worth 1.642 billion euros. Imports from EU countries account for 58.0 percent of total products entering the domestic market, or equal to 2.835 billion euros. Italy was reconfirmed again as Albania's main partner with 31.4 percent of total trade volume, albeit with a decrease of 3 percentage points. Exports to Italy fell by 13.7 percent, down to 998.5 million euros from 1.157 billion euros in 2019. While imports from Italy fell to 1.122 billion euros (-7.4 percent) from 1.327 billion euros a year earlier. In total, trade with Italy shrank by 363.5 million euros, equivalent to 63.6 percent of the entire decline in trade volume during 2020.