Egypt’s commodity exports surged in January; trade deficit shrinks

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 20 Feb 2024

Egypt's commodity exports witnessed substantial growth in January, surpassing $3 billion, a significant rise from the $2.8 billion recorded in January 2023, resulting in a decline in trade deficit, Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said on Tuesday.

Port of Alexandria
File Photo: Quay of Port of Alexandria.


Samir cited the latest report from the General Authority for Export and Import Control, which detailed Egypt's foreign trade performance in January.

Simultaneously, Egyptian commodity imports saw a substantial decline of 40 percent, totaling $4.476 billion, in contrast to the $7.520 billion registered in January 2023.

These positive developments have contributed significantly to a notable reduction in the trade deficit, which decreased by 68 percent in January. The deficit plummeted to $1.464 billion, compared to the $4.634 billion in the corresponding month of 2023.

Minister Samir underscored the positive impact of these indicators on Egypt's economic landscape.

The report identified Turkey as the top market for Egyptian exports, with a value of $292 million, followed by Saudi Arabia at $263 million, Italy at $173 million, the UAE at $169 million, the USA at $168 million, and Libya at $162 million.

Moreover, it shed light on the key export sectors that shaped Egypt's trade landscape in January.

Construction materials ranked highest with a value of $624 million, followed by agricultural products at $467 million, chemicals and fertilizers at $421 million, food industries at $408 million, engineering and electronic goods at $356 million, and ready-made garments at $258 million.

Textiles accounted for $91 million while printing, packaging, paper, books, and artistic works reached $68 million. Furnishings amounted to $47 million; medical industries stood at $42 million, furniture at $21 million, and handicrafts at $19 million. Last, leather, shoes, and leather products accounted for $15 million.

These noteworthy accomplishments in Egypt's foreign trade sector reflect the nation's commitment to strengthening its economy and promoting international competitiveness. The government's strategic efforts, coupled with the resilience of Egyptian exporters, have positioned the country favorably amid both internal and external challenges.

With the positive trajectory observed in Egypt's trade dynamics, stakeholders remain optimistic about the continued growth and diversification of the economy, which is expected to yield long-term benefits for the nation, according to the minister.

Under the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the government has adopted an ambitious plan for raising the country's exports to reach $100 billion annually.

The government also has a strategy that targets replenishing Egypt's US dollar liquidity by collecting $191 billion until 2026. Exports are a key source under this strategy along with remittances and Suez Canal revenues.


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