Egypt trade balance deficit surges for sixth time in June

Ahram Online, Sunday 16 Sep 2012

The surge in Egypt's trade deficit, with imports outstripping exports, continued in June, statistics body reports

Egypt's trade deficit saw yet another surge in June, growing a whopping 49 per cent over the same month last year, latest data from Egypt's official statistics body CAPMAS showed Sunday.

The trade deficit reached LE17.6 billion in June 2012 versus LE11.9 billion a year earlier. On a monthly level, the trade deficit dropped from LE19 million in May.

A drop in exports was behind the increased deficit, the former falling 17.6 per cent in June to sit at LE14.7 billion.

The CAPMAS report attributed the exports drop to a decline in overseas demand for Egypt's petroleum products, garments, fertilisers and electrical wires.

Imports to Egypt increased by nine per cent to reach to reach LE32.3 billion in June. With this latest increase, Egypt's trade deficit marks an annual increase for the sixth month in a row in 2012.

The deficit saw its highest year-on-year climb in February when it rocketed 138.1 per cent to reach LE14.2 billion ($2.3 billion).

Egypt's balance of payments (BOP), which indicates the flows in and out of the country, saw its deficit widen to $11.3 billion in the 2011/12 financial year that ended in June 2012, up from $9.8 billion the year before.

The trade balance is one component of the BOP along with other factors, including investment flows and tourism revenues.

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