Egypt’s trade deficit declined by about 24.9% in January 2016, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The balance of trade is an economic measure of the difference in value between a country’s imports and exports during a given period.
According to CAPMAS, the trade deficit reached EGP 22.3bn in January 2016, compared to EGP 29.67bn in January 2015.
CAPMAS noted that Egypt’s exports fell in January 2016 by 11.6% to record EGP 10.6bn. This is compared to EGP 12bn in January 2015, due to a drop in the value of some exports, mainly crude oil by about 19.3%, ready-to-wear clothes by 17%, petroleum products by 32.2%, and pastries and food preparations by 17.6%.
The value of some exports increased, such as fertilisers by about 87.7%, fresh oranges by about 28.3%, and fresh fruit by about 13.6%.
According to former deputy executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fakhry El-Fiki, Egyptian exports are expected to increase during the coming period, as the government decided to increase export subsidies to EGP 5.1bn in the next budget addressing fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, compared to EGP 3.6bn this year.
Food Export Council Chairperson Hany Birzi said the decline in export subsidies will reduce the volume of exports by at least 40% next year, in light of challenges faced by Egypt’s industry and fierce competition with products from international companies.
According to the monthly CAPMAS report, the value of Egyptian imports fell in January by 21% to reach EGP 32.9bn.
CAPMAS noted that certain goods’ values decreased, such as iron and steel by 44.1%, plastics by 15.3%, vehicles by 42.8%, and wheat by 40.7%.
While the value of petroleum product imports increased by 33.7%, cell phones by 59.7%, crude oil by 6.7%, and fresh apples by 5.9%.