Commodity Pattern of Trade
Raw materials, fuels, and capital goods accounted for the bulk of Albania's foreign trade before the communist system fell apart (see table 12; table 13, Appendix). The communist regime strove to increase the value of the country's exports by producing and selling industrial and semifinished products instead of raw materials and foodstuffs. In the late 1980s, raw materials and industrial goods made up about 75 percent of exports, which mainly consisted of petroleum, chromite and chrome products, copper wire, nickel, and electric power. Albania's light industries contributed export earnings from sales of bicycles, textiles, handicrafts, souvenirs, wood products, briar pipes, and rugs. Cognac, cigarettes, fruit, olives, tomatoes, canned sardines, anchovies, and other agricultural products also accounted for a share of exports. In 1989 Albania imported about US$245 million in goods from the West, up from US$165 million in 1988. It imported mainly capital goods, semifinished products, and replacement parts necessary to keep industries, especially export-producing industries, functioning. Imports included locomotives, trailers, machinery, textiles, synthetic fibers, lubricants, dyes, plastics, and certain raw materials. Consumer goods such as components for television sets and equipment to outfit enterprises serving foreign tourists accounted for a smaller percentage of imports.
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