ArmInfo.Armenia's foreign trade turnover in the first quarter of 2021 amounted to $ 1.5 billion, accelerating the decline to 4.4% (from 4% a year earlier). According to the final data of the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia, this was provoked by the acceleration of the decline in imports from 6.2% to 8.7%, while the export growth accelerated from 0.2% to 3.4%, the volumes of which amounted to $ 936.4 million and $ 572.9 million, respectively.
In March 2021, the dynamics of foreign trade turnover came out of the 7.9% decline by 12.8% growth, due to the reversal of the export and import trend from 13.3-4.9% decline to 11.6-13.5 % growth. And in March 2021, compared with March 2020, the growth of foreign trade turnover by 10.7% was provoked to a greater extent by an increase in exports by 21.8% than in imports by 5%, against a decline in all three indicators a year earlier - exports by 17.4 %, imports by 15.3%, foreign trade turnover by 16%. The negative foreign trade balance decreased in the first quarter of 2021 by 16.8% per annum (against a 13.4% decline in the same period of 2020), amounting to $ 363.5 million. Moreover, the negative foreign trade balance of Armenia with the EAEU countries amounted to $ 151.8 million, having decreased in y-o-y terms by 26.1% against the background of a decline in imports by 14.2% with an increase in exports by 2.1%. And the negative balance of Armenia's foreign trade with the EU countries amounted to $ 67 million, decreasing by 4.6% in y-o-y terms as a result of improving the dynamics of exports and imports towards growth by 7.3% and 2.9%, respectively.
The main buyers of Armenian goods in the first quarter of 2021 were Russia - 25.7% in exports, China - 13.8%, Switzerland - 13%, Bulgaria - 9.2%, the Netherlands - 4.9%. The main suppliers of imported products to Armenia were Russia - 31.9% in total imports, China - 15.5%, Iran - 9.2%, Germany - 5.7% and Italy - 4.9%.
Among the dominant items of Armenian exports, annual growth in the first quarter was recorded in the leading item - mineral products - by 21.5% to $ 219.8 million, as well as in base metals and products from them - by 9.3% to $ 67 million, and textile products - by 12% to $ 36.6 million. At the same time, the decline was in the export of finished food products - by 3% to $ 114.5 million, precious and semiprecious stones and products - by 26.7% to $ 57 million. In imports, the leading items were in decline: leading article - mineral products - by 2.6% to $ 209 million, as well as machinery / equipment / mechanisms - by 4.6% to $ 157.8 million, chemical products - by 10.2% to $ 75.5 million, finished food products - by 16 , 2% to $ 71.1 million, base metals and products from them - by 5.2% to $ 60.3 million, textile products - by 7.9% to $ 55.9 million. $ 46.4 million, and precious and semi-precious metals and products from them - remained at last year's level of $ 50.8 million. Exports of chemical products amounted to $ 6.1 million, having lingered in the decline with a noticeable slowdown to 6.6%.
Note that, according to the March forecast of the World Bank, the growth of exports of goods and services from Armenia in 2021 will amount to 8.7% with an acceleration of rates to 12.2% in 2022, and the growth of imports will accelerate from 8.3% in 2021 to 9.2% in 2022, against the actual decline in 2020 of exports by 3.9% and imports by 17.7%. The WB forecast current account deficit in Armenia at 4.8% of GDP in 2021 with an increase to 5.5% of GDP in 2022. According to the IMF's April forecast for Armenia, export volumes will reach $ 4.1 billion in 2021, with a further increase in 2022 to $ 4.8 billion, while import volumes are expected at $ 5.6 billion in 2021 and $ 6.4 billion in 2022. The ratio of the current account deficit to GDP, according to the IMF forecast, will increase in 2021 to 6.7% of GDP, and will decrease in 2022 to only 6.6%. The forecasts of the Central Bank of Armenia on foreign trade foreshadow an increase in exports by 1-3% and a decline in imports by 2-4% for 2021, and the ratio of the current account deficit to GDP will be in the range of 2-4%.