BUCE recorded a 27% bump in exports in January-July

Over the last 7 months, the amount of export transactions closed at the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE) reached 319 mln USD, which is 27% more than last year.

Timber section delivered the lion’s share of foreign sales – 232 mln USD, or 20% more than in January-July 2018. As tradition has it, sawn timber and woodchips dominated the transaction structure. While timber grew by 18%, to 176 mln USD, woodchips climbed by 19%, to 47 mln USD. Furthermore, sales of wooden poles, stakes, firewood, and low-grade raw wood soared nearly 8-fold, to 9 mln USD. Lithuania is currently the biggest buyer of Belarusian timber products: since the beginning of the year, residents of this country have purchased some 60 mln USD worth of sawn timber, woodchips, fuel briquettes, low-grade lumber and other products via BUCE.

Timber, however, was not the only highly sought after commodity group, as Belarusian agricultural products were quite popular with foreign buyers as well. Consequently, the amount of exchange transactions in this sector rose by 33%, to 55 mln USD. Dairy butter and milk powder generated most of the cash flow. In particular, butter sales via BUCE increased 2.9-fold, to 33 mln USD, and milk powder – by 2.7-fold, to 9 mln USD. Russian Federation served as the target market for these products. In addition, exports of rye and wheat flour to Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine stepped up by 62% reaching 3.4 mln USD.

BUCE’s industrial and consumer goods section became the absolute leader in terms of the export growth rate. The amount of export transactions with this type of commodities nearly tripled – from 3.9 mln USD to 10.6 mln USD. Heightened demand for Belarus-made cement, gypsum, and stone products was responsible for the upward trend.

As for the promising commodities sections launched in May this year, its development largely depends on the external factors. Thus, Ukraine’s antidumping duties imposed on the Belarusian cement seriously affected its sales via BUCE forcing the exporters to look for alternative markets – primarily Russia and Baltic states. This slowed down cement exports via BUCE making the total sales volume 8.9 mln USD.