According to the Czech Statistical Office's preliminary data, exports and imports increased by 17.7% and 21.8%, respectively, in current prices, in September on a year-on-year basis. Imports grew faster than exports for the seventh month. The value of external trade went up y/y by CZK 74.1 billion to CZK 450.9 billion, and constituted the highest September value of external trade since the Czech Republic's accession to the EU.

The balance of trade with EU countries showed a surplus of CZK 51.2 billion. Deficit in trade with non-EU countries increased by CZK 12.0 billion. Deficit decreased in trade with Russia, while surplus grew in trade with Austria, Slovakia and Germany. Balance of trade with the Netherlands improved, whereas deficit in trade with China grew deeper.

The September data indicates that the fastest growth took place in exports to Brazil, specifically by an enormous 202%, i.e., CZK 1.4 billion.  Even when compared with the development from January to September 2010 the increase of 92% is remarkable, and this in a situation where exports to Brazil currently account for only 0.4% of total Czech exports. But it is an increase by a factor of two compared with 2009. Algeria and Costa Rica stay on the top of the largest increases for September. Compared with the development from January to September 2010, Vietnam, Brazil and Israel appear among the top three countries.

“In such a distant geographical area, the offer of suitable payment instruments can be decisive for the whole deal. In Brazil, and in relationships with Latin America in general, our clients most frequently trade on the basis of the payment condition of import documentary collection. In this respect, imports of minerals, intended mainly for the construction industry, predominate. Co-operation with banks is running without any problems. Brazil is also a suitable country for the offer of export financing, i.e., special-purpose credit provided by the exporter’s bank to the foreign buyer. In such a case, the foreign buyer’s bank or the foreign buyer itself can be the debtor,” said Jaromír Chabr, Head of Trade and Export Finance at Komerční banka.

Between January and September 2010, the volume of incoming payments from Brazil dropped by 30% compared with the same period of 2009, from CZK 263 million to CZK 188 million. Almost one third of this volume is made up of payments for supplies of security equipment. Outgoing payments to Brazil for January to September 2010 are also lower in comparison with the same period of 2009, specifically by 10% from CZK 64 million to CZK 57 million. Payments related to the export of medical equipment account for almost one half.

From the perspective of international payments with Brazil, Jana Švábenská, Executive Director Operations at Komerční banka, adds: “Our ongoing effort is to support exports. This is why we offer our clients receipt of payment in the country’s currency, real.”

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group’s 8,624 employees serve 2.7 million clients, who can use an extensive network of 393 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 675 ATMs and 996,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 157,000 employees serve more than 32 million individual clients worldwide.