Pridnestrovie's foreign trade in 2015: deficit in the east, parity in the west

01/18/16 12:29

Pridnestrovie's foreign trade in 2015: deficit in the east, parity in the west

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Pridnestrovie's overall turnover, according to the State Customs Committee, amounted to $1,75 billion last year, which is $600 million, or 26%, less than in 2014. The reduction in turnover was chiefly caused by an over 30% decline in imports. However, the exports also declined by 14.6% in 2015: from $716 to 6111 million.

Last year Pridnestrovie managed to retain a vast geography of its export operations. Among our partners are such distant countries as Ecuador, South Africa, Indonesia, Costa Rica and Guinea. But they do not have the leading role in our turnover. Our exports and imports are still related to the same four regions: Customs Union, European Union, Ukraine and Moldova. A total of 95% of Pridnestrovie's imports and 98% of exports accounted for them in 2015.

Customs Union

The aggregate turnover with Customs Union (CU) countries amounted to nearly $702 million last year. It is easily calculated that it is precisely 40% of the total turnover. There is an explicitly negative balance in our trading relations with the CU: imports accounted for $651.7 million, and the exports for only $50.2 million.

With 90% of Pridnestrovie's total turnover accounting for the CU, Russia remains our chief and indisputable landmark in the union.

Although the east's share in Pridnestrovie's foreign trade had not changed since 2014, we lost positions in US dollar terms. The volume of the exports going from the PMR to the Customs Union nearly halved as compared to 2014. The reasons are known. First of all, it is a considerable depreciation of the Russian rouble and other CU currencies — Belarusan rouble and Kazakh tenge — which makes Pridnestrovian goods less competitive.

An increased disproportion between exports and imports is evidence that the trade with the CU did not go as well as desired. In 2014 the difference was 8.7 to 1, and in 2015, as the figures show, 13 to 1. That means the volume of Pridnestrovie's export operations with the CU fell deeper than did Pridnestrovie's imports coming from CU countries.

European Union

According to the SCC, Pridnestrovie's turnover with the EU amounted for $398 million last year, which is 23% of the total turnover. Owing to the global economic crisis, trading operations with the west also decreased: exports, for instance, fell by over a quarter as compared to 2014.

Referring to the structure of foreign trade turnover, it differs from that of the Customs Union. Pridnestroive was on a par with the EU last year: the EU's imports to the PMR amounted to $199 million and we sold goods of the same amount to the EU.

Pridnestrovie's major trading partners in the EU were the following seven countries (in descending order): Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary. Concerning the exports, two groups of countries should be singled out. The first includes Romania, Italy and Germany. With 83% of Pridnestrovie's exports going to these countries, they are the chief consumers of the Pridnestrovian goods in Europe.

The second group comprises Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Bulgaria and France. The volume of our exports to these countries amounted to $2.15 — 9 million.

Pridnestrovie's good trading relations with the Visegrad Four, which includes Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungry, should be mentioned in this regard. Our supplies to Slovakia almost doubled in 2015 — from $4.9 to 8.7 million, as compared to 2014. Stable, though not so large, were the exports to the Czech Republic.

Moldova and Ukraine

Despite all crises, a considerable volume of Pridnestrovie's turnover accounts for the neighbouring states. Moldova's share was 22% (almost comparable to that of the EU) last year and Ukraine's was 12%. With the exports significantly exceeding the imports, Pridnestrovie had an explicit surplus in trading relations with Moldova.

The volume of Pridnestrovie's supplies to Moldova reached $300 million last year, which is almost a half of our total exports. Pidnestrovie's exports to Ukraine amounted to $51 million, which is 8.3% of the total exports.

At the same time, Ukraine's imports to our country fell by over 20% - from $204.5 to 161.6 million — as compared to 2014.

What we export and import

The outline of Pridnestrovie's foreign trade is incomplete without mentioning the commodity composition of our turnover. Over a half of Pridnestrovie's imports are fuel-energy goods. These are followed in the descending order by metals, machine-building and food products, chemicals and medications.

And electrical power had the leading role in the composition of exports. This is the only Pridnestrovian industry, which managed to increase the volume of supplies — the increase of currency earnings amounted to $60 million as compared to 2014. But, unfortunately, this rise could not surpass decreases in other leading industries. Pridnestrovie's metallurgy's export revenues declined by over $97 million, light industry's revenues by $34.3 million and food industry's by $12.3 million.

Pavel Uvarov


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