The trade deficit of Georgia widened by 21% y/y to $4.05bn in January-September, but this was 0.5% less compared to the gap in the first nine months of 2019, according to data from the statistics office Geostat.
Compared to the same pre-crisis period January-September 2019, Georgia’s exports increased by 9.0% to $2.98bn, while imports advanced by only 3.3% y/y to $7.03bn.
The outstanding trade gap – one-quarter of the country’s GDP – was financed from remittances, which against expectations have strengthened during the pandemic, and by robust public borrowing.
Furthermore, a significant increase in the domestic exports is visible and it has prevented even tougher tensions within the balance pf payments.
Thus, Georgia’s domestic exports increased by 28% in January-August this year (latest data available) compared to the same period of 2019, to $1.90bn. The exports of copper ore and concentrates (27% of exports in 2021) increased by 20.5% over the two-year period, visibly helped by the higher prices of the commodities. The ferro-alloys, 14% of Georgia’s exports in 2021, increased by 28.7% y/y over the two-year period.
The domestic exports of food products also increased significantly, yet with a smaller impact on the total figure. Thus, the exports of hazelnuts (2.3% of total) and apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and sloes (fresh, 1.5% of total) surged by 130% over the two-year period.