Poland's exports to Russia & Ukraine could fall by 20-25pct this year - Economy Minister
March 27, 2014
Poland's Deputy PM and Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski
Poland might suffer a 20-25% decline in exports to Russia and Ukraine expressed in USD in 2014, Deputy PM and Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński told PAP Polish news agency in an interview.
"The cumulated effect of all the negative factors which we are able to notice at the moment makes for an expected slowdown of exports to Russia at the level of 20-25%," Piechocinski said.
"A similar decline should be expected in relation to FY data on trade with Ukraine," he added. "But in this case the predictability of the result is much lower as the forecast is burdened by a significant degree of uncertainty as to further developments in the social and economic situation in Ukraine."
The expected decline of exports to Russia is not only the effect of the recent tensions with Ukraine but also of the gradual economic slowdown in that country, the minister said.
"The economic weakening combined with the current geopolitical crisis have a strong effect on the ruble, which is losing considerably both against the dollar and the euro - the Russian currency has already lost 11-12% against the main currencies this year," he said.
"That, in turn, significantly hampers Russian imports from partners outside the former Commonwealth of Independent States, hence also trade with Poland."
Polish exports to Russia in 2013 amounted to USD 10.8 billion and to Ukraine - USD 5.72 billion, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS).
Polish exports to Russia in the year to March 18 fell by around 7.3% in annual terms to some USD 2.17 billion, according to the Economy Ministry's estimates. Exports to Ukraine in the same period fell 6.3% year on year.