Shipping in, shipping out. Egypt's deficit drops (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s trade deficit decreased 6.4 per cent last November compared to the same month the previous year to reach LE12.392 billion (roughly $2 billion), according to state-run statistics agency CAPMAS.
The total value of Egyptian exports surged in November 2011 by 17.4 per cent to reach LE14.7 billion, compared to LE12.5 billion in November 2010. CAPMAS attributed the growth in exports to an overall increase in the price of petroleum products, along with rising prices for some foodstuffs and textiles.
Imports, meanwhile, reached LE27.07 billion in November 2011, compared to LE25.7 billion the same month a year before. CAPMAS attributed the surge to growth in the prices of major products, mainly crude petroleum, crude steel and corn.
A drop in the trade deficit is good news for the Egyptian pound, which is facing major downward pressure as a result of declining foreign currency inflows and tourism revenues.
Egypt's total foreign currency reserves lost a further $2 billion in January of this year. They currently sit at some $16 million, good for an estimated three months of imports.