Romania’s foreign trade resumes rally in 2021
Both Romania’s exports and imports (goods only) rose by rates of over 20% in 2021 compared to 2020, after the foreign trade activity lost momentum in 2020 during the pandemic.
The annual growth rates (20% and 22% respectively) reflect rather base effects than fundamental trends.
Compared to 2019, the country’s exports increased by 8.3% to EUR 74.7 bln in 2021, while the imports advanced even more, by 14.0% to EUR 98.4 bln.
The EUR 19.6 bln trade deficit amounts to 9.9% of GDP. The deficit-to-GDP ratio has increased from 7.8% in 2019 to 8.4% in 2020 and 9.9% in 2021.
The trade gap will predictably remain high (if not higher compared to 2021) as the domestic demand is supposedly going to be boosted by the Resilience Facility in addition to EC’s normal disbursements under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.
In 2021, the trade gap widening was largely due to rising imports - although the exports-to-GDP ratio also edged up from 30.9% in 2019 to 21.1% in 2021. The imports-to-GDP ratio, however, leapt up from 38.7% in 2019 to 40.9% in 2021.
In the last quarter of 2021, exports increased by 16.2% YoY (+17.6% versus Q4, 2019) to EUR 20.17 bln.
The imports increased by 19.5% YoY (+21.1% versus Q4, 2019) to EUR 27.1 bln. The trade gap increased by just over 30% to reach a new record of EUR 6.95 bln.