Serbia's overall external trade for the period January - May 2018 went up by 24.3% to USD 18488.3 million compared to the same period in 2017 and up by 9.3 % to EUR 15143.6 million, according to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.
In the first five months of this year, exports increased year-on-year by 21.7% to USD 7977.1 million, while imports climbed by 26.4% to USD 10511.2 million.
Expressed in Euros, the value of exports amounted to EUR 6535.0 million, which was higher by 7.1%, compared to the same period last year while the value of imports amounted to EUR 8608.6 million, which was 11.1% higher.
As a result of this evolution, the Serbian commercial deficit was USD 2534.1 million
in January-May 2018, an year-on-year growth by 43.6%.The deficit expressed in Euros amounted to 2073.6 million, which was an increase of 26.2% compared to the same period last year.
The export - import ratio equalled 75.9% and was lower if compared to the same period last year when it was 78.8%.
The external trade in the period under review noted the highest level with the counties with which Serbia has signed agreements on free trade. European Union member countries account for 64.6% of total external trade.
The second major partner refers to the CEFTA countries, since gained surplus in external trade amounted to USD 910.3 million, resulting mainly from the exports of agricultural products (cereals and produces thereof and various sorts of drinks), iron and steel, road vehicles, oil and oil derivatives.
Exports in the referent period amounted to USD 1330.8 million, while the imports were USD 420.5 million. The export– import ratio equalled 316.5 %. Expressed in EUR, exports amounted to 1090.3 and imports to 344.8 million (surplus amounted to EUR 745.5 million and export – import ratio equalled 316.2%).
In May 2018, value of exports amounted to USD 1669.7 million, presenting the increase of 13.6% relative to the same month last year. Value of imports amounted to USD 2119.0 million, being the increase of 11.2% compared to the same month 2017.
Expressed in EUR, value of exports was EUR 1404.3 million, i.e. the increase of 5.1% relative to May 2017 and value of imports was EUR 1781.7 million, being the increase of 2.8%, relative to May 2017.
Earlier this month, the Serbian Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali speaking at the panel "A common approach to the digitized Western Balkans", in Vienna, said that this year alone Serbia has made almost one billion euros in exports thanks to the IT industry.
Mali, said that IT industry generates 10 percent of Serbia's GDP, and is recording high growth rates year in year out.
"This year alone we have made almost one billion euros in exports thanks to that industry, and I am especially pleased that a large number of young people see their future in this business. It is our obligation to employ these people and to give them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams in our country," local news outlet B92 quoted the minister as saying.
He also noted that digitisation is one of the priorities of the Serbian government, adding that programming classes have been introduced to both elementary and secondary schools.
"As of this year 1,750 schools have safe internet, which is very important because in that way we show that we care for our children and young people" the minister stated.
Exports in Serbia averaged 810.24 USD Million from 2001 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1789.30 USD Million in March of 2018 and a record low of 116 USD Million in January of 2002 according to Trading Economics.