The foreign trade of the Czech Republic marked a significant turnaround last year, recording a surplus of 122.8 billion CZK, according to preliminary data. This starkly contrasts the deficit of 204.8 billion CZK reported in the previous year, 2022.
A smaller deficit in trade with oil and natural gas largely drove the gains. In December 2023, the balance sheet ended with a surplus of 3.5 billion CZK, an impressive improvement of 5.9 billion CZK year-on-year. This information is based on the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) data.
However, the news is not all rosy as year-on-year exports fell by 7.2 percent to 317.7 billion CZK and imports by 8.9 percent to 314.2 billion CZK. After seasonal adjustment, exports rose 1.6 percent and imports 4.2 percent month-on-month. It should be noted that December 2023 had two fewer working days than December 2022.
Despite the overall year-on-year decline in exports and imports, the trade balance maintained a positive result in December, said Jana Mazánková, head of the ČSÚ’s trade balance department. She pointed out that a more significant year-on-year decline was recorded, for instance, in the export of computers, machinery, and equipment. On the import side, there was a decline, particularly in electrical equipment and oil and natural gas, similar to the previous month.
The overall balance of foreign trade with goods was favorably influenced year-on-year by a smaller deficit in trade with oil and natural gas by seven billion CZK due to declining prices on global markets. The trade balance with electrical equipment improved by 4.4 billion CZK by moving from a deficit to a surplus. The deficit in trade with chemicals and preparations decreased year-on-year by 2.8 billion CZK.