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Russia is Slovakia's third most important trade partner

IN THE first 11 months of 2004, Slovakia's foreign trade deficit with Russia amounted to Sk73.333 billion (€1.92 billion). In 2003 the deficit was Sk78.848 billion (€2.07 billion).

From January to November 2004 Slovakia imported Sk80.971 billion (€2.12 billion) worth of goods from Russia, which represents a 1.8 percent drop year-on-year. Imports from Russia represented 9.4 percent of Slovakia's foreign trade, the news wire TASR reported.

A 12.5 percent increase in Slovakia's export to Russia amounted to Sk9.638 billion (€250 million) and represented 1.2 percent of foreign trade.

Russia is Slovakia's third most important trade partner. Slovaks are largely dependent on imports of Russian fuel, energy and raw materials. These represent 90 percent of the imports from Russia.

In the past five years Slovakia's largest exporters to Russia were carmaker Volkswagen Bratislava, steelworks US Steel Košice, packaging producer Grafobal Skalica, brewery Heineken Nitra, printers Slovak Grafia Bratislava, tyre maker Matador Púchov and building materials producer Izomat Nová Baňa. The largest importers from Russia are Slovnaft oil refinery, gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP), US Steel Košice, electric utility Slovenské elektrárne (SE), Duslo Šaľa fertiliser producer and Slovalco aluminium producer.

According to preliminary data from the Slovak Statistics Office, in 2004 Slovakia incurred an overall trade deficit of Sk45.523 billion (€1,19 billion). Imports amounted to Sk941.058 billion (€24.66 billion) - an increase of 13.7 percent year-on-year. Exports increased by 11.5 percent to Sk895.535 billion (€23.47 billion).

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

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