According to the Czech Statistical Office’s preliminary data, in December 2010 exports and imports increased 27% and 28.5%, respectively, in current prices on a year-on-year basis. The surplus on trade was CZK 1 billion, and was lower by CZK 1.7 billion year-on-year. In comparison with 2009, exports and imports increased 17.7% and 20.3%, respectively, in 2010. The annual surplus on trade amounted to CZK 124.5 billion, which was CZK 25 billion lower than in 2009.

In December, trade with the EU countries ended up in a surplus of CZK 45.8 billion, which was higher by CZK 12.2 billion y/y. Deficit in trade with non-EU countries deepened by CZK 13.9 billion y/y to CZK 44.8 billion. Surplus increased in trade with Germany and Slovakia, by CZK 5.2 billion and CZK 2.6 billion, respectively. The balance of trade with Poland improved from negative to positive, by CZK 1.4 billion; deficit decreased by CZK 0.1 billion in trade with Russia. On the other hand, deficit deepened in trade with China and South Korea by CZK 12.7 billion and CZK 0.9 billion, respectively.

In 2010, external trade with EU countries ended up in a surplus of CZK 593.5 billion, up by CZK 109.3 billion y/y. In trade with non-EU countries, deficit deepened by CZK 134.3 billion to CZK 468.9 billion. The positive balance increased in trade with Germany, by CZK 26.2 billion, Slovakia, CZK 18.8 billion, the UK, CZK 11.1 billion, France, CZK 10.4 billion and Italy, CZK 10.3 billion. On the other hand, there was a deeper deficit in trade with China, by CZK 84.2 billion, South Korea, CZK 11.8 billion, Azerbaijan, CZK 9.7 billion, and Russia, CZK 9.4 billion.

Belarusand Australia headed the more than doubled increases in exports for December 2010 compared with December 2009. Taiwan and again Belarus lead the annual increase in exports for January to December 2010. Let us have a closer look at the conditions in Belarus.

“Due to the economic crises and deficit in foreign currencies the National Bank of Belarus issued an order that does not permit Belarus importers to make advance payments and only permits payments to foreign suppliers once the goods have been received. An alternative option is the documentary letter of credit, which does not constitute a pre-payment but a bank-guaranteed promise of payment subject to the satisfaction of the agreed delivery terms. We also issue for clients non-payment guarantees; here, advance payment guarantees and bid bonds predominate. We also see a rising number of requests for export financing,” says Jaromír Chabr, Head of Trade and Export Finance at Komerční banka.

In respect of bank transfers, the volume of incoming payments for 2010 increased by 45% in comparison with 2009, from CZK 445 million to CZK 650 million. Payments for food additives, gearboxes, turbo-blowers, energy equipment, and components for white appliances amount to large volumes.

The volume of outgoing payments for 2010 shows the same increase as incoming payments, i.e., 45%, from CZK 435 million in 2009 to CZK 648 million in 2010. Payments for deals in the chemical industry and agriculture account for more than 30%, and metallurgical material accounts for 30%; of this, tyre cords make up a more significant part.