TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign trade grew by 19 percent in the first five months of 2012, compared with last year.

Final figures from GeoStat show that total foreign trade turnover was USD 4 059 million, out of which USD 961 million is export and USD 3 097 import. Earlier, Georgia’s National Statistics Department published estimates which the same trend.

Export grew 12 percent compared to 2011, while import grew 21 percent.The trade deficit was USD 2 136 million, which is 53 percent of the foreign trade turnover.

This is the largest trade deficit in recent years. In the years from 2007 to 2012, the negative trade balance was lowest in 2009 — USD 1 266 million – and highest in 2008 — USD 1 986 million, both figures are for the period January-May.

The war in 2008 impacted the Georgian economy, but exports annually increased from 2009. In 2008 it was USD 609 million. It fell to USD 407 million in 2009, then the figure exceeded 2008 level in 2010 and grew to USD 612 million. In 2011, it was USD 857 million and in 2012 USD 961 million.

Imports were also the highest recorded this year. In January-May 2008it was USD 2 594 million, decreased to USD 1673 million in 2009. Last year it was USD 2 551 and is USD 3 097 million now.

Georgia’s largest trade partners are: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Germany, Ukraine, China, USA, Bulgaria, Japan, Armenia.

Georgia’s number one export product is used cars. Cars are brought to Georgia and then exported to countries in the region. In the first five months this year, cars have a 22 percent share of exports, followed by ferroalloys – 11.3 percent, nitrogenous fertilizer -5.7 percent, nuts – 5.4 percent and copper ores and concentrates 3.7 percent.

The most important import products are oil products 11.5 percent, cars 9.2 percent, Petroleum gases and gaseous Hydrocarbons 4.5 percent, medicines 2.8 percent and wheat 2.4 percent.