Over 50pct of the exporters, who held 62pct of Romania's exports in March last year, estimate export contractions in March 2020, according to some experimental statistical research on the volume of foreign trade operations, conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
The document shows that 32pct of exporters estimate a decrease of up to 25pct, 12pct expect contractions raging between 25pct and 50pct and 7pct estimate a decline of exports by more than 50pct.
"The main causes for these contractions were: the reduction in production capacity (16.6pct); transport problems (22.4pct); temporary legal export prohibitions (16.5pct); lack of raw materials from import (14.1) pct) and cancellation of contracts (9.1pct)," says the quoted source.
On the other hand, there are some exporters (10pct) who were expecting increases in export in March 2020.
As to imports, some 53pct of the importer respondents, who held about 60pct of Romania's imports in March 2019, estimate import contractions in March 2020, in different percentages: 35pct of them estimate a decrease of up to 25pct, 11pct between 25pct and 50pct and 6pct estimate a contraction of imports by over 50pct.
According to the survey, the main causes invoked for these contractions were: reduction in production capacity (20.8pct), problems related to transport (29.0pct), temporary legal prohibitions on imports (20.4pct), and cancellation of contracts (8.4pct).
A small proportion of the importers surveyed (15pct) estimated increases in imports in March 2020.
The INS carried out an ad-hoc survey addressed to a number of 1,796 companies that operate in the field of foreign trade in order to measure the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the volume of exports and imports from March 2020. The questionnaire that was administered included a question for estimating the evolution of exports and imports of the unit in which the interviewed person (unit manager) operates.
A question was also introduced in the questionnaire in order to identify the most important causes regarding the negative impact on exports and imports, respectively. For this question, there were presented some possible situations, from which the manager could choose one or more options: reduction in production capacity, transport problems, temporary legal prohibitions on export, lack of raw materials from import, cancellation of contracts or other causes.
The questionnaire was administered between March 30 - April 2, 2020. Of the 1,796 companies where the questionnaire was applied, the number of companies that answered was 1,551 (response rate was 86.4pct). The companies that provided an answer cover 62pct of the exports, respectively 59pct of the imports registered during the corresponding period of the previous year (March - April 2019).