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Egypt trade duties take marginal loss on Arab upheaval

Customs revenues slip to LE13.4 billion for the 2010-11 fiscal year as regional upheaval puts the partial brakes on trade

Ahram Online , Friday 2 Sep 2011
Suez Canal
Along the Suez Canal in Ismailiya (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt saw an 8 per cent annual fall in customs revenues in the 2010-11 fiscal year, down to LE13.4 billion from LE14.67bn the year before, according to a new report from the Egyptian Customs Authority.

Transport equipment and spare parts contributed the largest share of revenues at around 33 per cent, or LE4.442bn, while medical equipment was 23 per cent, or LE3bn, and consumer goods 19 per cent, or LE2.5bn.
Egyptian exports saw a rise to LE150bn, a 12 per cent rise on LE134.54bn in the 2009-10 financial year. Imports also grew by 8 per cent to reach LE358bn, up from LE330bn the year before.
The ratio of exports to imports was 42 per cent, compared to 40 per cent in 2009-10. 
Customs figures also showed the rate of development in Egyptian industry with 49 per cent of total Egyptian exports being finished goods, valued at LE73.5bn, and 42.2 per cent -- around LE63.3bn -- were equipment and industrial accessories. Raw materials exports, meanwhile, only accounted for 7.8 per cent of the total.
The European Union remained the main trading partner, the source for $8.4bn of imports into Egypt -- up 15 per cent on the year before -- and the receiver of some 24 per cent of the total amount of Egyptian goods shipped overseas.
Arab states, however, saw a marginal decline, reflecting political upheaval in the second half of the 2010-11 financial year. Exports to fellow Arabs dropped to $7bn from $7.7bn, hit by revolution and ongoing strikes in countries like Yemen, Syria and Libya.
There was a piece of good news for traders, however. Exports became marginally more efficient as around 47 per cent of all goods from abroad were released from customs on the same day.
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