Egypt’s trade balance deficit inched up in July to register EGP 34.7bn, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) revealed in a Tuesday report.
The figure compares to the EGP 25bn recorded in the same month in 2014, marking a 38.8% year-on-year (YoY) increase.
Egypt’s trade balance continues to face a deficit, despite the government announcements on attempts to counter this recurring problem.
Egypt’s imports generally surpass the value of the country’s exported products. Only once this year, in January, did the deficit decrease slightly, but otherwise continued to inch up the following months.
In July, the overall value of exports slightly declined by 2.6% to stand at EGP 13.1bn, in comparison to EGP 13.5bn in July 2014.
The decrease is attributed to the value drop of a number of products such as readymade clothes by 12.1%, furniture by 8.3%, and crude oil by 1%, amongst others.
The value of other exported products witnessed an increase, however, including fresh fruits by 87.3%, and plastics in their primary forms by 16.5%, amongst others.
Meanwhile, imports in July 2015 saw an increase of 24.3%, standing at EGP 47.8bn, compared to the same period last year where imports stood at EGP 38.5bn.
The climb in the value of imports is attributed to the increased value of a number of imported products. Those include petroleum products by 201.7%, automobiles by 52.1%, and meat by 65.4%, amongst several others.
By mid-October, CAPMAS released another report concerning Egypt’s exports that highlighted that the country’s non-petroleum exports declined by 19% from the beginning of the year to the end of September.
Exports stood at approximately $13.9bn, down from the $17.2bn that was registered in the same period the preceding year.
Recently appointed Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil declared last week that Egypt seeks to enhance its economic relations with other countries as a means for opening new doors for Egyptian exports.
Increasing Egyptian exports will allow the country to secure foreign currency, especially since Egypt is now suffering from dollar insufficiency.
On 7 October, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that foreign reserves decreased by $1.76bn in September, to reach $16.334bn, compared to $18.096bn in August.
The current foreign reserves cover Egypt’s commodity imports for 3.3 months.