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Egypt’s trade deficit climbs to $3.4 bln in March

Egypt’s trade deficit climbs to $3.4 bln in March

Cairo: Egypt’s trade deficit hiked 6.2 percent during March 2018, recording $3.40 billion, compared to $3.19 billion in the same month of 2017, the state statistics agency CAPMAS said on Wednesday. 

In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports increased 3.2 percent to reach $2.47 billion during the month of 2018, compared to $2.40 billion during the month of 2017. 

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the jump in the exports of some goods, such fresh orange, increasing by 11.4 percent, readymade garments (2.3 percent), plastic (33 percent) and petroleum products (18.5 percent). 

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw a decline in March such as crude oil, which decreased by 28 percent, potatoes (3.7 percent), pastries and various food preparations (1.2 percent) and fertilizers (48.1 percent). 

CAPMAS said earlier that Egypt’s exports in the first two months of 2018 recorded $4.5 billion, compared to $4 billion in the same period of 2017. 

Meanwhile, Egypt’s non petroleum exports jumped 200 percent in the first two months of 2018, reaching $64 million, compared to $21 million in the same period of 2017. 

As per Imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 4.9 percent to hit $5.87 billion in March of current year, compared to $5.59 billion in March 2017. 

CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase of imports of raw materials of iron or steel by 22 percent, crude oil by 182.1 percent, wheat by 1.8 percent and pharmaceuticals by 0.3 percent. 

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline; such as petroleum products by 26.5 percent, plastics by 2.1 percent, corn by 18.6 percent, and wood and articles thereof by 18.4 percent. 

In February, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $2.1 billion, compared to $4.7 billion in February 2017, with a decrease of 56 percent. 

While in January, the trade deficit increased by 4 percent, reaching $3.62 billion, versus $3.48 billion in January 2017. 

Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said in February that Egypt’s trade deficit declined 15.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of fiscal year 2017/18, dropping from $21.7 billion to $18.3 billion. 

Egypt has been seeing a drop in imports after it floated its currency in late 2016, making Egyptian goods in foreign markets attractively cheaper while doubling the cost of importing. 


Source: Egypt Today

 

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