Albanian statistics office has released a data indicating a fall of 9 per cent in exports in 2020, with the biggest negative contribution, -5.3 percentage points, coming from textiles and footwear sector. Albania is an important nearshore production centre supplying Italy’s apparel sector. But as non-essential shops were closed and people stayed at home during COVID-19, global clothing sales slumped.
Geographically, the deepest falls in Albania’s exports in 2020 were to Italy (13.7 per cent), followed by Kosovo (12 per cent) and Spain (30.4 per cent). Besides textiles and footwear, there was a -3.5 pp contribution from minerals, fuels, electricity and -1.2pp from construction materials and metals to the overall 9.0 per cent decline in exports.
The worst month for both imports and exports was the lockdown month of April, when exports fell by as much as 45 per cent year-on-year and there was a dip of around 40 per cent in imports.