November the 12th, 2020 – The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the world, affecting imports and exports as well as the upkeep of medical supplies for various countries. In 2020, Croatia imports a significantly more costly amount of medicine when compared to last year.
As Marina Klepo/Novac writes, most export sectors have reduced their sales of goods since the beginning of this year owing to the dire situation, but some of them still managed to increase their product placement. In addition to mining and quarrying, which jumped sharply due to the relocation of oil refining to Hungary, the coronavirus crisis was also stimulating for the export of agricultural products.
According to the CBS, the export of agricultural products rose by 16.9 percent in the first eight months of 2020, from 3.24 to 3.79 billion kuna. When looking at things sector by sector, the export of food and live animals/livestock increased by 8.6 percent and reached 8.3 billion kuna. Exports within the food industry fell by almost 10 percent in 2020’s first eight months, but several industries still managed to slightly exceed last year’s results: the production of paper (5.9 percent), electrical equipment (2.5 percent), computers and electronic and optical products (2 percent), as well as food production (0.7 percent).
When it comes to imports, the only activity that has significantly increased activity is, quite naturally, pharmaceuticals, which isn’t surprising when looking at the unprecedented situation dominated by the pandemic that we continue to find ourselves knee-deep in. This sector did well, and Croatia imports rose by as much as 25.9 percent, reaching a staggering 1.8 billion kuna. At the same time, exports from the Croatian pharmaceutical industry fell 7 percent.
Finally, total exports in 2020’s maiden eight months amounted to 69.6 billion kuna, equal to 6.3 percent less than in the same period last year, and imports fell by 10.8 percent, down to 111.5 billion kuna. It is noticeable that trade in August decreased significantly when compared to the previous two months, and exports and imports returned to the unimpressive levels seen during the lockdown period back in April and May.
However, due to a larger drop in imports than exports, and the CBS data for the first nine months of 2020, the foreign trade deficit has significantly decreased by about 18 percent. Thus, the coverage of imports by exports has also improved; it reached 63.5 percent, from 59.9 percent in the same period last year.