Ljubljana, 10 December (STA) - Slovenia's external trade in goods continued to grow in October, despite a drop in trade with EU countries. However, imports rose at a faster rate year-on-year than exports, creating a trade deficit.
According to the Statistics Office, exports rose by 7.1% year-on-year to almost EUR 3.08 billion in October, as imports increased by 7.6% to EUR 3.18 billion.
The country posted a trade deficit of EUR 103 million, mostly due to increased imports from markets outside the EU. The export-import coverage for October was 96.8%.
The growth in trade has been affected strongly by trade in pharmaceutical products with Switzerland since the Swiss pharma giant Novartis opened a logistics and distribution hub at Ljubljana airport serving this part of Europe.
Trade with EU countries decreased year-on-year for the third month running, exports dropping by 1.5% to EUR 2.21 billion and imports falling by 3.8% to EUR 2.18 billion.
The fall in exports to the EU, Slovenia's key external trade region, is blamed mainly on lower exports of energy products.
Imports from the EU dropped due to a decrease in the imports of iron, steel, petroleum, petroleum products and paper, paperboard, and paper pulp products.
Exports to the markets outside the EU increased by almost 38% to just shy of EUR 866 million and imports from those markets increased by 45% to slightly over EUR 1 billion.
Medicinal and pharmaceutical products contributed most to higher exports and imports.
Between January and October, Slovenia exported EUR 28.19 billion of goods, 9.4% more than in the same period a year ago. Imports rose by 11.6% in the same period to EUR 28.39 billion.
The country thus posted a trade deficit of over EUR 200 million in the first ten months of the year. The export-import ratio was 0.993.