Egypt’s trade deficit declined 24.6% during May, recording $3.34bn, down from $4.42bn during the same period last year, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
It added in its monthly bulletin of foreign trade in May that Egypt’s exports hiked by 1.6% during May, reaching $2.68bn, up from $2.64bn for the same month of previous year.
The CAPMAS attributed the increase to the increased value of some commodities such as fertilisers by 27.5%, ready-made clothes by 2.8%, and plastics in their primary forms by 33.8%.
On the other hand, the CAPMAS noted that the exports value of some commodities decreased during May 2019, in comparison with the same period last year, including crude oil by 30.9%, fresh fruits by 43.3%, and furniture by 21.2%.
In terms of Egypt’s imports, the CAPMAS said that Egypt’s imports decreased by 14.8%, recording $6.01bn during May, versus $7.06bn for the same month of previous year, due to the decreased value of some commodities such as raw materials of iron or steel by 32.3%, plastics in their primary forms by 1.6%, organic and inorganic chemicals by 13.6%.
Meanwhile, imports of some commodities increased in May, versus the same month of previous year, such as soybean by 6.0%, meat by 2.3%, and wood and articles thereof by 4.4%.
Egypt’s government has been targeting achieving a great boost in its exports, but despite the improvements, the exports performance remains below its potential.
Compared to other middle-income countries that started at the same level or below in the early 2000s, Egypt’s exports-to-GDP ratio remains much lower, according to the latest World Bank’s Egypt Economic Monitor report in July.