The volume of Czech exports reached a record level last year, reaching Kč 4.2 trillion crowns with the strong automotive segment contributing most to the growth. The latest foreign trade statistics confirm that car exports were up 7.8 percent on the year while the proportion of motor vehicle exports to total exports reached 28.6 percent in 2017. This share has been gradually rising from 23 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2011. The strong car segment was also the main driver of Czech industrial production, which increased by 5.7% year-on-year in 2017. This represents the fastest growth rate in the last six years, according to figures from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ).
Exports to China on the rise: Cross-border exports increased by 5.7 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year. The share of Czech exports to the EU was steady at 83.7 percent while exports to China increased by one-fifth. Czech exports to China last year grew twice as fast as Chinese imports into the Czech Republic Prague TV reported. But the trade imbalance is still high, Chinese companies imported goods worth Kč 472 billion while Czech exports to China amounted to Kč 56 billion.
Germany a key trading partner: Exports to Germany increased by 7.3 percent and accounted for 32.8 percent of total exports last year, reaching Kč 1.38 trillion crowns. The volume of trade between the Czech Republic and Germany climbed to a record 2.35 trillion crowns in 2017 and rose by 6.3 percent year-on-year.
“The trade between the two countries is in the best shape, and last year's monetary intervention did not seem to negatively affect development. Except for 2008 and 2009, the years of the financial crisis, the trading volume increases continuously. Since 1993, the founding year of the German-Czech industrial and Chamber of Commerce, the annual volume has increased almost tenfold” Bernard Bauer, executive director of the Czech-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.
Imports and exports in 2016: In 2016, the Czech Republic exported $160B and imported $138B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $22.5B according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity. The top exports of the Czech Republic were Cars ($18.7B), Vehicle Parts ($13.5B), Computers ($8.69B), Seats ($2.71B) and Insulated Wire ($2.61B). Its top imports were Vehicle Parts ($8.9B), Computers ($6.43B), Cars ($3.75B), Packaged Medicaments ($3.3B) and Broadcasting Equipment ($2.65B).The top export destinations of the Czech Republic were Germany ($52.3B), Slovakia ($13.6B), Poland ($9.2B), the United Kingdom ($8.42B) and France ($8.39B). The top import origins were Germany ($42.7B), Poland ($12.7B), Slovakia ($9.2B), China ($8.06B) and the Netherlands ($7.32B)
Deceleration in exports is expected: Analysts expect expect no further significant growth of exports this year and say car exports will stagnate, even if even foreign demand continues to be strong. According to experts, Czech exporters are at the limit of their production capabilities and have not been able to meet demand. This is due to the low unemployment rate, the lowest in the EU, and a lack of raw materials.
In total, the Czech Republic imported goods worth Kč 3.8 trillion last year. The main import markets remain Germany, China, and Poland. Balance of Trade in Czech Republic averaged 6543.33 CZK Million from 1991 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 52258.91 CZK Million in April of 2016 and a record low of -39868 CZK Million in December of 1992 according to Trading Economics.
Czech Republic at a glance
Population: 10.6 million Area: 78,866 sq km (30,450 sq miles) Borders: Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia. Currency: koruna GDP (nominal): Per capita: $22,468 (2018 estimate) Inflation (CPI): 2.5% (December 2017) Unemployment: 2.3% (December 2017) Average gross salary: CZK 29,050 / €1,152 / $1,438 per month (Q4 2017)
Sources: IMF, Czech Statistical Office