SOFIA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — Bulgaria’s trade deficit with countries outside the European Union (EU) has almost doubled in the first half of 2018 year-on-year, the country’s National Statistical Institute (NSI) said Friday.

According to preliminary data of the NSI, Bulgaria’s foreign trade balance with non-EU countries from January to June was negative and added up to 3.1 billion BGN (some 1.8 billion U.S. dollars) while in the same period of 2017 the deficit stood at 1.6 billion BGN.

In the first half of this year, the country’s exports to the non-EU countries amounted to 7.5 billion BGN, 15 percent less than in the corresponding period of 2017, the NSI said.

Main trade partners of Bulgaria were Turkey, China, Serbia, the United States, Macedonia and Russia, which accounted for 53.3 percent of exports to non-EU countries.

The largest growths were recorded in the sections like animals and vegetable oils, fats and waxes (17.3 percent) and chemical and related products (7.4 percent), while the most notable falls were reported in mineral fuel, lubricants and related materials (49.6 percent) and beverages and tobacco (40 percent).

Meanwhile, Bulgarian imports from the non-EU countries increased by 1.4 percent to 10.6 billion BGN, with the largest amounts reported for the goods imported from Russia, Turkey, China and Serbia, the NSI said. (1 U.S. dollar = 1.69 BGN)

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