Egypt’s trade balance with other global markets for non-petroleum products declined by 17 percent in 2020 to reach $38.2 billion, down from the $46.2 billion in 2019, Minister of Trade and Industry Niven Gamea announced on Tuesday.
Gamea attributed the decline to the positive performance of Egypt’s external trade in 2019, which amounted to $88.8 billion.
She added that Egypt managed to attain such a positive performance despite the COVID-19 pandemic-related severe impacts on global trade.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s imports dropped in 2020 by 12 percent to record $63.5 billion, down from $71.8 billion in 2019. This drop was driven by moving towards manufacturing some of the industry's inputs and production supplies locally instead of importing them from external markets, according to Gamea.
On the other hand, Egypt’s exports also slightly fell by 1 percent in 2020 to reach $25.2 billion, down from $25.6 billion in 2019.
On his side, Ismail Gaber, the head of Egypt’s General Organization For Export & Import Control, announced that three export sectors witnessed a tangible growth in 2020, including construction materials, medical industries and handicrafts.
Construction materials' exports increased in 2020 by 20 percent to reach $6.1 billion, up from $5.1 billion in 2019, according to Gaber.
He clarified that the UAE was the top destination for such exports from Egypt with a total of $2.1 billion, followed by Canada with $632 million, then Italy with $492 million.
For medical industries, the sector’s exports rose by 1 percent in 2020 to reach $548 million, up from $540 million in 2019.
Gaber expounded that Saudi Arabia ranked the top in 2020 in receiving such exports from Egypt with a total of $84 million, followed by Yemen with $51 million, then Sudan with $43 million.
He also noted that Egypt’s handicraft exports rose in 2020 to $208 million, up from $207 million in 2019.
According to Gaber, Turkey was the top destination for Egypt’s handicraft exports in 2020 with a total of 432 million, followed by Sudan with $24 million, and then Germany with $24 million.
Five markets accounted for 35.6 percent of Egypt’s total exports in 2020, including UAE with $2.8 billion, US with $1.5 billion, Saudi Arabia with $1.7 billion, Turkey with $1.6 billion and Italy with $1.2 billion, Gaber noted.
On another side, five markets topped the importers to the Egyptian market by 41.1 percent, including China with $11.5 billion, US with $4.5 billion, Germany with $3.9 billion, Italy with $3.1 billion and Russia with $2.9 million.
For imports, Gaber illustrated that three sectors saw a decrease. This included ready-made garment imports that dropped by 24 percent in 2020 to record $414 million, down from $544 million in 2019, in addition to handicraft imports that receded by 21 percent to reach $317 million, down from the $401 million in 2019, as well as leather and footwear imports that fell by 20 percent in 2020 to record $162 million, down from $202 million in 2019.
Egypt’s trade balance deficit contracted by 28.8 percent (Y-o-Y) to reach $2.9 billion in October, down from $4.1 billion in the same month of 2019, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in December.
CAPMAS also said that Egypt’s exports dropped by 13.1 percent to record $2.2 billion in October, down from $2.5 billion in the same month of 2019.