Czech exports to Russia continue to fall in 2016

Photo: fishtik / freeimages

Czech exports to Russia have continued to fall in 2016. According to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Tuesday, exports to Russia fell by 12 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year. This follows a year-on-year fall in the volume of Czech exports to Russia dropped of nearly a third in 2015.

Illustrative photo: fishtik / freeimages
Meanwhile, exports from the Russian Federation to the Czech Republic fell in value terms by 40 percent in the first half of this year. Russia's share in Czech exports currently stands at 1.7 percent, compared to nearly 4 percent in 2012.

European Union sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the annexation of Crimea and the country’s own retaliatory measures are seen as a main reason behind the trend.

However, the Czech Chamber of Commerce says there are other factors behind the falling volume of exports to Russia, including Germany’s growing share on the overall Czech exports fuelled by the Czech crown’s weakness toward the euro.

“Economic sanctions of the EU also play a role, because Russia gives preference to domestic producers or companies from countries which have not supported the sanctions,” Miroslav Diro of the Czech Chamber of Commerce told the Czech News Agency.

Another reason behind the declining volume of exports is the worsening state of the Russian economy.

Czech exports to Germany in the first seven months of the year increased by 4.2 percent compared to the same period last year, while exports to France accelerated by 5.2 percent.

Exports to the US, on the other hand, dropped by nearly eight percent. The dependence of Czech exporters on the EU keeps increasing, with 84 percent of local exportscurrently heading to the 28 EU member states.

According to Vladimír Bärtl, deputy minister at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the current trend is understandable given the unstable situation on the non-European markets and traditional orientation of the Czech economy toward Western European markets.

At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is trying to adopt measures supporting exports to perspective non-EU markets, Mr. Bärtl says.

The European Union imposed sanction on the Russian Federation in 2014 over its role in the annexation of Crimea and its role in Eastern Ukraine. Russia responded by adopting restrictions on selected products produced in the EU.