Lower natural gas exports widen Egypt's trade deficit by 4.3 percent in May

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Aug 2023

Egypt's trade deficit grew by 4.3 percent to $3.74 billion in May 2023, compared to $3.57 billion in the same month last year, owing to a plunge in natural gas exports and a surge in wheat imports.

A file photo of containers.
A file photo of containers.


The figures were provided in the monthly trade bulletin the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) released on Tuesday.

Egyptian exports dropped 20.9 percent to $3.38 billion last May compared to $4.28 billion a year earlier.

CAPMAS ascribed the considerable decline in total exports to plunges in exports of natural gas (69.7 percent), crude oil (54.5 percent), petroleum products (41.7 percent), and fertilizers (72.4 percent).

At the same time, Egypt's total imports declined by 9.4 percent to $7.12 billion over the same time period.

Imports of petroleum products decreased by 19.8 percent, while imports of steel raw materials went down by 29.2 percent. Chemicals and plastics imports plunged by 24.3 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, imports of wheat skyrocketed by 92.5 percent on an annual basis in May and corn imports surged by 46.4 percent. Natural gas imports increased by 21.3 percent.

Egypt's trade deficit surged 23.8 percent in April over the same month in 2022, driven by a drop of more than 75 percent in gas exports.

However, for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022/2023, which ended in March, the trade deficit tumbled by 29.8 percent to only $23.6 billion.

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