But what has been the cause of this? If we look at the groups which have registered a fall, the depreciation of the euro against lek is one possible cause. Textile products, which have also accounted for the biggest part of Albanian exports with 45% of the total, have been some of the most affected ones from the depreciation of the euro last year. Given that these products are sold in foreign markets, profits for manufacturers in Albania have been lower than before. This is why recently, they’ve had to think twice before launching their products in European markets. This can also explain the 2.2% fall in the amount of these goods which are exported abroad.
On the other hand, another cause which seems to have had an impact on the sudden fall of exports is the reduction of the amount of electricity sold abroad due to the long draught. This group, which accounts for 15% of total exports, has seen a sharp fall this year compared to a year ago. The fall amounts to 18%.
We’re selling less, but buying more from other countries
We’re selling fewer goods to other countries, but we’re buying more from them. This is the other side of the “medal” of Albania’s foreign trade at the beginning of this year. The numbers supplied by the Institute of Statistics suggest that imports have registered an increase of up to 8% in the month of February. Minerals, fuel and energy seem to be the biggest factors for this increase. As a result of a long period of draught, the country has been obliged to buy electricity from abroad.