The FINANCIAL — In January-March 2018 external merchandise trade (excluding non-declared trade) of Georgia amounted to USD 2 823.8 million, 23.3 percent higher year-on-year.
The exports equaled USD 740.3 million (28.4 percent higher), while the imports stood at USD 2 083.4 million (21.6 percent higher). The negative trade balance was USD 1 343.1 million in January-March 2018 and its share in external trade turnover constituted 47.6 percent. Export excluding re-export amounted to USD 554.8 million, 18.6 percent higher year-on-year, according to GeoStat.
In January-March 2018 the external trade turnover of Georgia with the EU countries amounted to USD 820.1 million, grew by 27.6 percent compared to the corresponding indicator of the previous year. Exports amounted to USD 209.4 million (31.4 percent higher), while imports amounted to USD 610.7 million (26.4 percent higher). The share of these countries in the external trade turnover of Georgia amounted to 29.0 percent, 28.3 percent in exports and 29.3 percent in imports (in January-March 2017 28.1, 27.7 and 28.2 percent correspondingly). 29.9 percent of the trade deficit came to the EU countries (28.5 percent in January-March 2017).
In January-March 2018 the external trade turnover of Georgia with the CIS countries totaled USD 976.9 million (higher by 30.0 percent compared to the January-March 2017). Exports stood at USD 303.0 million (48.0 percent higher), while imports equaled USD 673.9 million (23.2 percent higher). The share of the CIS countries in the external trade turnover of Georgia constituted 34.6 percent, 40.9 percent in exports and 32.3 percent in imports (In January-March 2017 32.8, 35.5 and 31.9 percent, respectively). In January-March 2018 compared to previous year, CIS countries accounted for 27.6 percent of the overall trade deficit (30.1 percent in January- March 2017).
In January-March 2018 share of the top ten trading partners in the total external trade turnover of Georgia amounted to 67.1 percent. The top trading partners were Turkey (USD 404.6 million), Russia (USD 311.1 million) and Azerbaijan (USD 270.2 million).
Major commodity groups by exports and imports
In January-March 2018 Copper ores and concentrates reclaimed the first place in the list of top export items, equaling USD 118.8 million, or 16.0 percent of total exports. Exports Ferro-alloys of totaled USD 85.1 million and its share in the total exports amounted to 11.5 percent. Motor cars occupied the third place. Exports of this commodity group stood at USD 64.9 million and 8.8 percent of the total exports.
The top import commodity in January-March 2018 were Petroleum and petroleum oils imports of which amounted to USD 186.9 million and 9.0 percent of the total imports. Petroleum gases commodity group followed in the list with USD 127.4 million, or 6.1 percent of imports. Motor cars came third with USD 118.0 million (5.1 percent of imports).