Friday, November 02, 2007

Czech September 2007 Trade Surplus

The Czech Republic posted its first trade surplus in three months in September as import growth slowed and exporters stepped up sales after production was reduced during the holiday period.

According to preliminary data from the Czech Statistics Office for September 2007, exports and imports at current prices grew by 11.0% and 7.6% year-on-year respectively. The trade balance achieved a surplus of CZK 14.4 billion, which was an improvement of CZK 7.0 billion year-on-year. This figure was fuelled by a CZK 5.8 billion increase in the trade surplus in machinery and transport equipment and by a CZK 1.9 billion decrease in the trade deficit in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

The surplus was 14.4 billion koruna ($771 million), which compared with a deficit of 600 million koruna in Augustr and a 7.4 billion-koruna surplus a year earlier.

Exports grew at the slowest pace since August 2006, and imports at the slowest pace since April 2006. These figures are influenced by the high base figure of September 2006 when the third highest level for 2006 was recorded. Due to appreciation of the koruna against the euro and in particular against the US dollar, external trade grew faster in euros (exports +14.3%, imports +10.8%) and in US dollars (exports +24.6%, imports +20.8%) than in korunas.

In terms of destination and origin countries, the trade surplus with EU27 states rose by CZK 66.9 billion and trade deficit with non-EU27 states increased by CZK 28.2 billion. The surplus with Slovakia increased (by CZK 22.1 billion), as it did with Germany (by CZK 13.7 billion), the United Kingdom (by CZK 11.3 billion), Poland (by CZK 7.7 billion) and France (by CZK 7.4 billion).

The deficit in trade with the Russian Federation decreased (by CZK 27.0 billion), and the trade balance with Norway improved (by CZK 9.6 billion) turning the deficit into a surplus. The trade deficit with China increased (by CZK 49.5 billion), as it did with the Netherlands (by CZK 10.4 billion), Japan (by CZK 7.1 billion) and Ireland (by CZK 4.6 billion).

The trade balance reached a surplus of CZK 14.4 billion, which was an improvement of CZK 7.0 billion when compared with September 2006. This is the highest September surplus in the history of the Czech Republic and the second highest surplus during 2007.

Czech export-oriented plants often boost production in September following shutdowns during the holiday period and before Christmas imports. The impact of surging oil prices has also been reduced by the koruna's gain against the dollar, thus keeping open the possibility that the full-year surplus will beat the record 43 billion koruna from last year.

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