Egypt's current account deficit narrows 12.1% in Q1 of FY2023/24

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Jan 2024

Egypt’s current account deficit decreased by 12.1 percent to $2.8 billion during the period between July and September 2023, compared to $3.2 billion a year prior, according to the data released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Thursday.

A file photo of a container vessel in the Suez Canal, Egypt. AFP
A file photo of a container vessel in the Suez Canal, Egypt. AFP


The CBE attributed this decline to a 12.7 percent decrease in the trade balance deficit to $7.9 billion during the same period.

The services balance surplus increased to a record $7.9 billion, due to tourism and Suez Canal transit fees, the CBE said.

Meanwhile, the total surplus in the balance of payment (BoP) reached $228.8 million.

Tourism revenues & Suez Canal

Egypt’s tourism revenues increased by 9.3 percent to $4.5 billion compared to $4.1 billion in the same quarter of FY2022/23, due to a 23.2 percent increase in the number of tourists.

This builds on a 26.8 percent increase in tourist revenue in FY2022/2023 from the previous year, which jumped to a record $13.6 billion.

Furthermore, Suez Canal revenues increased by around 19.4 percent to $2.4 billion in Q1 of FY2023/24 compared to $2 billion in the same quarter of FY2022/23, the CBE said.

Suez Canal revenue surged by 25.2 percent on a yearly basis in FY2022/2023, hitting a record $8.8 billion.

Inflows & outflows

Net inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI) registered $2.3 billion in the July-September 2023 period, down from $3.3 billion a year earlier.

Outflows dropped significantly during the period, registering $523.4 million, down from $2.2 billion in a year prior.


However, remittances from Egyptians abroad, which traditionally surpass the Suez Canal or tourism revenues, tumbled 29.9 percent in Q1 of FY2023/24 to $4.5 billion compared to $6.4 billion a year earlier.

Remittances account for 7.8 percent of the country's GDP, according to 2021 World Bank figures. 

Petroleum trade

Egypt’s petroleum trade balance deficit increased significantly to $1.3 billion in the first three months of FY2023/24 from $106 million in the corresponding period of FY2022/23 as exports and imports plummeted.

Petroleum exports dropped by $2.1 billion, including a $2 billion decline in natural gas exports, registering $1.6 billion in the July-September 2023 period.

Imports of petroleum products, including natural gas, declined by $891.1 million, reaching $2.9 billion.

Non-oil trade

The non-oil trade deficit dropped $2.4 billion, recording $6.6 billion, down from $9 billion in Q1 of FY2022/23.

Accordingly, non-oil merchandise exports increased by $458.9 million to $6.7 billion from $6.3 billion, particularly for exports of wires, cables, fresh and frozen vegetables, gold and household electrical appliances.

On the other hand, non-oil merchandise imports decreased by 12.5 percent to post $13.3 billion down from $15.3 billion, especially for the imports of corn, propylene polymers, and organic and inorganic compounds.

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