TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January 2015 was 9 percent lower than last year, according to preliminary data published by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, on Friday.

The total turnover was USD 694 million, out of which export was USD 156 million, which is 30 percent less than in 2014, while import was USD 538 million 1 percent less than last year.

The trade deficit was USD 382 million, which is 55 percent of the entire foreign trade turnover.

Precise data are expected on February 23.

The Ministry of Economy responded in a statement that the drop in export is preconditioned by several important external factors, specifically the difficult political and economic situation in Russia and Ukraine, due to which the two states have imported less wine, alcohol, mineral water and citrus than usual.

The statement says export has increased to EU member states by 21 percent, mostly agricultural products.