Czech exports set a record in 2017

But companies are at capacity so this year in unlikely to show more growth

Czech exports reached a record Kč 4.2 trillion last year, but experts expect a drop this year. Car exports, up 7.8 percent on the year, contributed most to the growth.

Cross-border exports increased by 5.7 percent compared to the previous year. Exports to China increased by one-fifth and to Germany by 7.3 percent, according to figures from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). The share of Czech exports to the EU was steady at 83.7 percent.

Exports to Germany accounted for 32.8 percent of total exports last year and reached Kč 1.38 trillion crowns.

“The trade between the two countries is in the best shape, and last year's monetary intervention did not seem to negatively affect development,” Bernard Bauer, executive director of the Czech-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said, according to the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

Exports to Slovakia, another key trading partner, were up less than 2 percent to Kč 324 billion.

Analysts have been saying that Czech exporters are at the limit of their production capabilities and have not been able to meet demand. This is due to the low unemployment rate, the lowest in the EU, and a lack of raw materials.

No further significant growth of exports can be expected this year, and car exports will stagnate. Last year's export record remains unlikely to surpassed in the coming years.

Cars exports contributed most to the growth and also set a new record. The proportion of motor vehicle exports to total exports reached 28.6 percent in 2017. This share has been gradually increasing. It was 22.8 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2011.

Czech exports to China last year grew twice as fast as Chinese imports into the Czech Republic. But the trade imbalance is still high, Chinese companies imported goods worth Kč 472 billion while Czech exports to China amounted to Kč 56 billion.

In total, the Czech Republic imported goods worth Kč 3.8 trillion last year. The main import markets remain Germany, China, and Poland.

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