Record Exports in 2017 Kc4,200bn

Prague, Feb 5 (CTK) – Czech export reached a record amount last year, growing by 5.7 percent annually to Kc4,200bn in the cross-border concept, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said today.


Export to China was a fifth higher and export to Germany grew by 7.3 percent.


The share of Czech export to the EU stayed at 83.7 percent, with Germany accounting for 32.8 percent of the total export figure. Czech exports to Germany amounted to Kc1,380bn.


The two countries’ trade is in the best condition, Bernard Bauer, executive board member of the Czech-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.


The positive development does not seem to have been shaken even by last year’s end of currency interventions, he said.


Among major export destinations, only export to Slovakia went down, by nearly 2 percent to Kc324bn.


“Czech exporters have reached the limit of production, failing to keep up with the pace of increase in foreign orders,” said Raiffeisenbank analyst Jakub Cervenka.


The firms’ growth is hindered by a lack of workers and recently also by a shortage of materials, he said.


A marked rise of export is unlikely this year, said the Exporters Association.


The crown will certainly be posting gains, and the automotive industry, a key driver of exports, is stagnating or even falling compared to 2016 in three out of six groups, according to the CSU classification, Otto Danek, deputy chairman of the association, said in January.


Last year’s record-high export figure will probably not be surpassed in the coming years, he said.


Jaroslav Hanak, president of the Confederation of Industry, said the export figure shows Czech exporters have been doing well in the past few years in terms of getting new orders.


State support and an active economic diplomacy are also needed for successful exports, he said. “The government should therefore continue to reinforce the network of economic diplomats and foreign offices of CzechTrade (agency),” Hanak noted.


“The planned reform of foreign institutional representative offices needs to be first discussed with the key players, touching on potential impacts on exporters,” Hanak said.


The cabinet should also reform state institutions that are providing financial aid to exporters. The economic development of the Czech Republic’s foreign trading partners will be of key importance for export this year.


Car exports that posted an annual hike of 7.8 percent to a new record high contributed the most to the export rise. “Motor vehicle exports constituted 28.6 percent of the overall exports last year. The share keeps increasing from 22.8 percent in 2014 and ‘only’ 20 percent in 2011, for example,” said ING Bank chief economist Jakub Seidler.


Export to China grew at twice the rate of Chinese import to the country last year, however, the latter figure remained high at Kc472bn, while Czech export amounted to Kc56bn.


Czech imports totalled Kc3,800bn last year, with major importers being Germany, China and Poland.