SOFIA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Bulgaria's trade deficit with countries outside the European Union (EU) decreased in 2019 year-on-year, preliminary data released by the country's National Statistical Institute (NSI) showed on Monday.
According to the NSI, Bulgaria's foreign trade balance with non-EU countries in 2019 added up to 1.1 billion Bulgarian levs (0.6 billion U.S. dollars) while in 2018 the deficit stood at 4.6 billion BGN.
In 2019, Bulgarian exports to non-EU countries amounted to 19.1 billion BGN, a 4.4 percent increase in comparison with the previous year, the NSI said.
Bulgaria's main trading partners were Turkey, China, Serbia, the United States, Russia and North Macedonia, which accounted for 50.6 percent of its exports to non-EU countries.
The largest export growths compared to 2018 were recorded in the sections 'Food and live animals' (59.4 percent) and 'Crude materials, inedible (except fuel)' (23.8 percent), while the most notable fall was registered in 'Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material' (20.2 percent), the NSI said.
Bulgaria's imports from non-EU countries in 2019 decreased by 11.9 percent year-on-year to 20.2 billion BGN. The largest sources of imports were Turkey, Russia, China and Serbia, the NSI said.
The largest import growths were recorded in the sections 'Food and live animals' (21.5 percent) and 'Animals and vegetable oils, fats and waxes' (16.8 percent). The most notable fall was registered in the 'Mineral fuel, lubricants and related materials' section (42.2 percent), the NSI said.
China, in particular, was Bulgaria's second largest export destination outside the EU, and the third largest non-EU importer. (1 Bulgarian lev = 0.56 U.S. dollar)