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Egypt's trade deficit slows 26pct year-on-year in April

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Jul 2016
Container ship crosses the Egyptian Suez Canal (File photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s trade deficit decreased in April by 26 percent compared to the same month of last year to reach EGP 23.9 billion, the state’s statistics body CAPMAS said in an emailed statement on Monday.

On a monthly basis, the deficit registered a rise from the figure of EGP19.9 billion in March.

According to CAPMAS, the value of exports were up 14.1 percent year-on-year, recording EGP 16.6 billion, and some exports increased such as oranges (29.4 percent) and fertilisers (524.8 percent).

Imports’ value slowed 13.5 percent year-on-year to EGP 40.5 billion, with imports of petroleum products and raw materials of steel down 5.3 percent and 5.7 percent respectively.

However, imports of vegetable oils saw a significant rise of 44.5 percent, CAPMAS said.

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports of wheat and other staples to feed its population of 90 million, has been facing an acute dollar crisis since the 2011 uprising, which was followed by political and security unrest that spooked investors and tourists.

The governor of Egypt’s central bank, Tarek Amer, said in January that the government aims to reduce its import bill by $20 billion or 25 percent in 2016, from $80 billion in 2015.

*The official exchange rate for $1 = EGP 8.78

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