Shipping in, shipping out. Egypt's deficit drops (Photo: Reuters)
Deficit in Egypt’s trade balance narrowed 13.8 per cent, in July 2011, below July 2010 to reach LE13.5 billion ($2.25 billion) mainly due to the higher growth in exports, according to the latest figures released by Egypt’s official statistics body, CAPMAS.
Exports grew by 26 per cent to reach LE15.9 billion, mainly driven by growth in exports of garments, fertilisers and steel.
“Egyptian manufacturers, especially those working in building materials have resorted to foreign markets to sell their products when the domestic market stagnated after the revolution,” says Ali Eissa, head of the general exporters division at the Chambers of Commerce Federation.
Imports also grew, but at a lower rate of 4 per cent to reach LE29.4 billion in July, reflecting the global increase of Egypt's main imports such as corn and crude oil.
Egypt’s foreign currency stocks have been squeezed as a result of the economic slowdown that followed January's popular uprising.
Egypt's net foreign reserves slipped to $24.008 billion last month from $25.01 billion at the end of August.