Wood and stone: how Belarus increases trade with Europe

Belarus trades almost no technological goods with Europe but supplies a lot for construction/collage by Ulad Rubanau, Euroradio

Belarus' trade with Europe began to grow in May after the shocks associated with the war in Ukraine. Imports are recovering especially fast.

Euroradio has learned about how Belarus trades with the EU under sanctions, although Belstat hid this information.

Europe increased purchases from Belarus in May by 16%. While Belarusian exports to the EU amounted to 366.9 million euros in April, in May, they were already 425.8 million euros, Eurostat reports.

 

Поставки белорусских товаров в ЕС по месяцам (учёт в евро) / данные Евростата

The main volume of Belarusian goods in May was bought by Poland (146.6 million euros), Lithuania (126.2 million euros), Latvia (57.8 million euros), Germany (32.5 million euros) and the Czech Republic (16.9 million euros).

The majority of goods that Belarus sold to the EU were related to construction and woodworking - 52.9%. The growth of exports occurred mainly due to these positions.

In second place are the products of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and food - 21.5%. The share of transport equipment, and services, including postal services, amounted to 10.9%. Minerals, fuels, chemicals and electricity only amounted to 9.5%. Purchases for the last positions are gradually decreasing.

Экспорт Беларуси в ЕС по группам товаров / Еврорадио

Belarus also increased purchases in the EU by more than 30%. In April, goods were imported for 302.4 million euros, and in May, the figure was already 395.5 million euros. Most likely, part of this growth came from the resale of sanctioned goods to Russia. Belarusians did this even after the anti-Russian sanctions of 2014, and recently the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported about such trade.

Поставки европейских товаров в Беларусь по месяцам (учёт в евро) / данные Евростата

The largest flows of goods in May were from Poland (€106.1 million), Lithuania (€80 million), Germany (€73.6 million), Italy (€21.3 million) and Latvia (€19 million).

Most often, Belarus purchased construction materials and wood - 27.5%. Behind them are the products of agriculture, forestry and fisheries - 17.8%. Almost 16% accounted for imports of transport, transport services and health-related goods.

По большинству позиций закупки из ЕС растут / данные Евростата

Of course, in the spring of 2021, when there were no sanctions yet for the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk or for supporting Russian aggression, Belarus’ trade with the EU was more significant. However, it has not totally collapsed.

For example, if we compare May 2021 with May 2022, Belarusian exports decreased by 19.2%, and imports by 28.6%. At the same time, imports fell more than exports. This is bad for people and Belarusian businesses. After all, companies cannot always purchase everything necessary for their own production. And European goods are becoming less accessible to people, which allows local producers to increase prices and worry less about quality.

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