Egypt’s trade deficit reached $3.87bn in December 2018, up from $3.39bn in the same period of 2017, an increase of 14.1%, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced earlier this month that the government is determined to implement a new strategy to increase the volume of Egyptian exports, as this will create more jobs, expand production, and increase the country’s foreign exchange revenues, thus improving the country’s trade balance.
The agency’s monthly bulletin of Foreign Trade Data in December 2018 showed that the exports’ value increased by 2.1%, reaching $2.57bn during December 2018, compared to $2.52bn in December 2017.
It added that this increase in exports is due to an increase in the value of some commodities, such as ready-made clothes, plastics in their primary forms, and fresh orange among others.
“While the exports’ value of some commodities decreased during December 2018, compared to the same month of the previous year, such as crude oil, fertilisers, and fresh fruits,” the CAPMAS added.
It stated that the exports’ value of ready-made clothes, plastics in their primary forms, and fresh orange increased in December 2018 by 10.4%,10.2%, 40.2%, respectively.
On the other hand, the CAPMAS stated that imports’ value increased by 9.0%, reaching $6.44bn during December 2018, up from $5.91bn during the same month of 2017.
It explained that this increase in exports is due to an increased value of some commodities, such as cars rising by 28.7%, plastics in their primary forms by 7.4%, pharmaceutical products by 24.3%, and organic and inorganic chemicals by 4.4%.
Meanwhile, imports of some commodities decreased in December 2018, compared to the same month of 2017, such as raw materials of steel by 28.2%, wheat by 1.1%, meat by 14.4%, and crude oil by 46.8%.
Notably, Egypt’s cabinet spokesperson, Nader Saad, stated last Friday that the state’s strategy includes increasing the value of exports from $24.8bn currently to $55bn, an increase of $30.2bn.
Saad noted that they also aim to increase the number of new manufacturers and commercial exporters, in addition to expanding the number of existing manufacturers, as well diversifying the products and services exported and subsequently increasing their competitiveness.