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Economy

Exports increase by 16% compared to pre-crisis, but textiles and footwear return to strong decline

  • 9/17/2021 9:26 AM
Exports increase by 16% compared to pre-crisis, but textiles and footwear return to strong decline

Exports continued to grow in August, although at a slower pace than in previous months, recovering the losses of the pandemic year and being higher than in 2019, when the country was normal.

This trend has reflected the strong growth of the two groups, "building materials and metals" and "minerals, fuels and energy", favored by the international conjuncture of rising demand and prices. Both groups have influenced 70% of the growth of exports for the 8 months.

Exports of food and machinery and equipment have continued to expand steadily, while textiles and footwear remain the only ones that are below the level of 2019, even in August this year were lower than in the same month of 2020 -s, a trend that is observed for the first time this year. The growth of the "machinery and spare parts" group slowed down in August.

INSTAT reported that for the first 8 months of 2021, exports reached ALL 232.4 billion, with an increase of 37.3% compared to January-August 2020. While compared to the same period of 2019, the increase is about 16%.

In August, exports were ALL 23.7 billion, with an increase of 22.5% compared to the same month of 2020 and 18.3% higher compared to August 2019.

Textiles and footwear, the main exporting group in the country (with 31% of the total), have suffered more than all other groups the consequences of European quarantines and the change in consumer behavior. Although with an increase of 10% for the 8 months compared to January-August 2020, sales of this group continue to remain 10.3% lower compared to the normal 8 months of 2019.

Even in August, exports of textiles and footwear were lower than in the same month of 2020, shrinking by 22.3%.

Exporters claim that the sector is suffering from a lack of new orders, as a result of the creation of stocks during the extended quarantine. However, the gradual reopening of Europe has raised hopes for the sector, although there are fears that there may be new closures following the spread of the Delta variant.

The share of exports of this group has decreased by 8 percentage points for the 8 months, compared to the same period of 2020, when it was 39%. Textiles and shoes are among the largest employers in the country, with about 60 thousand, or about 12% of employees in the private sector.

Strong growth of metal building materials

Exports of construction materials and metals, the second largest exporting group in the country (with 21% of the total) continued the positive performance in August. For the 8 months, the exports of this group doubled compared to 2020, while they are 54% higher than in January-June 2019. The steel producer, Kurum, which is the largest exporter in the country is trying to responds to demand that is at record levels, both in the domestic and foreign markets, and meanwhile metal prices on international stock exchanges are rising.

Strong growth even for fuels

The same positive trend has continued for minerals, fuels and energy, which has increased by 80.3% for the 8 months compared to 2020, and 41 compared to the same period 2019.

In August, however, exports to Spain, the main market for oil company Bankers Petroleum, fell slightly.

Machinery and equipment stop the pace

The group of food, beverages and tobacco has continued the positive trend started from three years ago, expanding by 14.7% for the 8-month period. This group was the least affected by the pandemic crisis and continued to grow in 2020.

Growth rates have slowed for machinery, equipment and spare parts, whose sales increased by 37.4% compared to the 8 months of 2020 and 22.7% compared to the same period 2019. This sector has in recent years attracted investment in factories that mainly install electrical systems for vehicles. However, in August, this group fell by 37.3% compared to the same month of 2019.

According to INSTAT, during August 2021, the increase of exports by 22.5%, had a positive impact on the groups: "Construction materials and metals" with +17.4 percentage points, "Minerals, fuels and electricity" with +8, 0 percentage points and "Machinery, equipment and spare parts" with +3.7 percentage points. While the group "Textiles and shoes" has had a negative impact with -8.7 percentage points

/Klara Ruci/