Foreign trade surges in Czechia, posting CZK 16 billion balance

Rising car exports and falling operational costs resulted in the strongest trade balance in over two years.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 10.05.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 09.05.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Foreign trade in Czechia surged in March, increasing by an impressive CZK 28 billion year on year. A rise in car exports and a decline in natural-gas costs contributed to this.

The strongest balance in over two years

According to data published today by the Czech Statistical Office, exports were higher than imports by almost CZK 16 billion. This is the third month in a row that Czechia has recorded a positive trade balance, which is the largest since April 2021.

Year on year in March, exports increased by 7.7 percent, to CZK 417 billion, and imports rose by 0.4 percent, to CZK 401 billion.

Not only did the 37-percent year-on-year increase in the export of motor vehicles and their parts contribute to this [the trade balance growth], so too did the year-on-year lower costs of oil and natural gas imports, which fell by 44 percent"

Miluše Kavěnová, director of the foreign trade statistics department of the Czech Statistical Office

Czechia’s foreign trade balance with countries inside the EU rose by CZK 18.8 billion year on year in February, and its trade deficit with countries outside the EU decreased by CZK 9 billion. 

The euro area collectively registered a EUR 30.6 billion (CZK 715 billion) deficit in January 2023, according to the latest available data.

The auto industry contributes almost 30 percent of total production in Czechia’s manufacturing industry, and in pre-Covid 2019 produced about 1.4 million motor vehicles. Over 90 percent of home-produced cars are sold to foreign markets, with Germany being the biggest export partner.

Auto manufacturing is vital to Czechia

The Czech auto industry is a key driver of Czech industrial growth. notes that were it not for the impacts of Czech motor vehicle production, Czech industrial growth would have recorded a decline rather than registering 2 percent annual growth. Expansion continued by the same amount in March. 

Amid still-high inflation and rising government debt, Czechia’s positive balance will come as good news to the domestic industry and government, which will hope that strong vehicle exports continue in 2023.

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