A cargo ship makes its way along the Suez Canal (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's trade balance deficit reached LE12.7 billion ($1.8 billion) in September 2013, state-run statistical body CAPMAS reported on Sunday.
The figure represents a 33.1 percent drop compared to the same month the previous year, when the deficit stood at LE18.9 billion ($2.7 billion).
The value of Egypt's exports in September 2013 fell to LE15.9 billion ($2.3 billion), down 8.1 percent from the LE17.3 billion ($2.5 billion) they had recorded in September 2012.
Among the main products to suffer a drop in exports according to CAPMAS were petroleum products, crude oil, tiles and sanitary fixtures, liquefied propane and carbon.
Egypt's exports nonetheless rose some 13 percent in the first nine months of 2013, recording LE112.3 billion ($16.3 billion) compared to LE99.8 billion ($14.5 billion) in the same period of the previous year, buoyed by the depreciation of the Egyptian pound.
Egypt's local currency fell around 9 percent against the dollar, sealing the year at LE6.9386 to $1, as the country's central bank implemented a new regime of regular forex auctions which allowed the pound to fluctuate throughout the politically troubled year.
The value of imports in September took a more severe hit, falling by 21 percent to reach LE28.6 billion compared to LE36.2 billion in September of the previous year, as Egypt imported less iron and steel, petroleum products, corn, organic and non-organic compounds, medical and pharmaceutical goods.