Georgia’s foreign trade turnover grows 10% in 2014

Georgia’s foreign trade with EU countries amounted 26 percent of Georgia’s total foreign trade., 24 Nov 2014 - 17:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover saw positive movement in the first 10 months of the year, increasing its number of trade partner countries from 131 to 142.

Figures released today by state statistics office Geostat showed Georgia’s foreign trade had increased by 10 percent year-on-year (y/y) to $9.43 billion USD.

In particular, exports grew five percent y/y and reached $2.42 billion, while imports increased by 11 percent and amounted to $7 billion in the same period. In addition, the trade gap was 49 percent in total trade turnover.

Georgia’s Deputy Finance Minister Giorgi Kakauridze believed the country’s foreign trade had increased with European Union countries by more than 23 percent but had decreased with Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries.

"CIS countries economies are connected with Russia’s and Ukraine’s economies [and] that caused the decline of exports from Georgia,” Kakauridze said at todays’ Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee while presenting the 2014 budget report.

Georgia’s trade with CIS member countries stood at $2.9 billion for the first ten months of 2014 – a 0.5 percent y/y decrease. Georgian exports to these countries grew one percent to $1.2 billion while imports from CIS member states decreased by two percent to $1.6 billion.

The share of CIS countries in Georgia’s external trade decreased by three percent and constituted 31 percent.

EU-Georgia trade

Georgia’s foreign trade with EU countries saw positive movement in the first ten months of the year and amounted 26 percent of Georgia’s total foreign trade.

Latest y/y figures revealed foreign trade with EU countries increased by seven percent, equaling $2.47 billion, while exports increased by 14 percent to $522 million. Similarly, imports from the EU grew by six percent to $1.9 billion.

Top trade partner

From January to October 2014, Georgia’s top three trading partners were Turkey, Azerbaijan and China.

Georgia’s largest trading partner, Turkey, generated a total turnover of $1.5 billion, which was ahead of Azerbaijan’s $983 million and China’s $682 million total turnover.

Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia were Georgia’s largest export markets in the reported period. Exports to Azerbaijan stood at $473.7 million– down from 25.3 percent to 19.5 percent when compared with the same period of 2013.

Kakauridze believed the trade decrease with Azerbaijan was caused by the decline of motor-cars export from Georgia. Azerbaijan recently adopted strict car import rules, which stopped the imports of cars manufactured in the EU before 2005.

Meanwhile, exports also decreased to Armenia by one percent y/y to $248.5 million, while exports to Russia more than doubled to $234.5 million.

Top export and import commodities

Re-export of cars remained to be Georgia’s largest export commodity, valued at $455.5 million in the first ten months of 2014, despite a drop of about 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

Export of ferroalloys was the next largest export commodity, which was valued at 250.8 million – up 1.9 percent y/y.

Copper ores and concentrates ranked third at $217.4 million, up 3.9 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Wine exports ranked fourth at $150.7 million, up 2.2 percent y/y. This accounted for 6.2 percent of Georgia’s total exports.

Georgia’s top exported products are:

  • Motor cars - $455.5 million (18.8%)
  • Ferro-alloys - $250.8 million (10.3%)
  • Copper ores and concentrates - $217.4 million (9%)
  • Wine of fresh grapes – $150.7 million (6.2%)
  • Nuts (fresh or dried) - $137.2 million (5.1%)
  • Waters, natural or artificial mineral and aerated waters –$123.8 million (5.1%)
  • Mineral or chemical fertilizers, nitrogenous – $111.3 million (4.6%)
  • Undenatured ethyl alcohol, spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages – $76.5 million (3.2%)
  • Medicaments – $73.2 million (3.0%)
  • Bars and rods of iron – $57.2 million (2.4%)
  • Other commodities – $771.4 million (31.8%)

Georgia’s imports

Georgia imported $773 million worth of petroleum and petroleum oils – the two largest imported products - in the first ten months of this year.

These two products made up 11 percent of the country’s total imports in the reported period. Import of motor cars was next highest, with $602 million, which was nine percent of total imports.

Petroleum gases and other gases ranked third at $271million, which was four percent of all imports.

Top imported products are:

  • Petroleum and petroleum oils – $773.1 million (11%)
  • Motor cars – $602.3 million (8.6%)
  • Petroleum gases and other gaseous - $270.6 million; (3.9 %)
  • Medicines - $256.5million (3.7%)
  • Copper ores and concentrates – $151.5 million (2.2 %)
  • Mobile and other wireless phones – $149 million (2.1%)
  • Wheat – $123.9 million (18%)
  • Cigarettes – $ USD 85.4 million (1.2 %)
  • Computers – $80.8 million (1.2%)
  • Metal construction materials – $78.4 million (1.1%)
  • Other commodities – $4.4 billion (63.3%)

*All currencies are in USD.