Egypt recorded a trade balance deficit of EGP 26.7bn in March 2015, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) revealed in a Tuesday statement.
The latest figures illustrate a 10.9% increase on the same period last year where it stood at EGP 24bn.
Exports stood at EGP 15.21bn, 15.7% less than the EGP 18.04bn recorded in March 2014, according to CAPMAS. This decline was largely driven by a reduction in the value of key exported products, such as petroleum products which were 45.2% less than last year, plastics which were 28.8% lower, and potatoes which were less by 21.9% amongst others.
Imports also witnessed a decline of 0.5% during March, as it stood at EGP 41.9bn, compared to the EGP 42.1bn recorded in the same period a year earlier.
This decline was largely driven by the drop in the value of some imported products including wheat which dropped by 30.3%, raw materials of iron or steel which were 25.3% less than last year.
A number of exported and imported products however witnessed an increase in March 2015. The amount of exported furniture rose by 30.7%, orange exports increased by 28% and fresh fruits by 9.9%.
Imports of petroleum products increased by 158.5% in March of this year and imported motor vehicles rose by 35%. Other products also witnessed an increase in March compared to the year before.
CAPMAS revealed the trade deficit stood at EGP 19.44bn in January, a significant increase in the value of trade deficit has been witnessed in March compared to January’s figures.
Egypt’s trade balance has suffered a deficit for a while, due to the country’s imports exceeding exports in general.
Egypt aims to generate $28bn in non-petroleum exports in 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade revealed in its Foreign Trade Digest report in February. The figure is planned to occur throughout 13 sectors, including medical industries, agriculture products, engineering and electronic products, food industry, ready-made clothes, chemical and fertiliser products, building materials, furniture, leather products, footwear and handicrafts, according to the report.