Egypt’s exports of building materials jumped 10 percent in the first four months of 2018, recording $2.05 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in the same period of 2017, according to the Export Council for Building Materials (ECBM).
The council said in its monthly report that metal exports jumped 11 percent from January to April, recording $1.6 billion, compared to $1.5 billion in 2017.
The report said that iron exports rose 17 percent to reach $370 million in the first four months of the current year.
Cement exports also climbed 13 percent to record $35 million, compared to $31 million in the first four months of 2017.
According to the report, ceramic exports recorded $55 million in the first four of 2018, up from $43 million in the same period of 2017 – an increase of 26 percent.
Exports of jewelry and precious stones fell to $909 million, compared to $915 million in the same period last year.
The exports of Egyptian marble and granite decreased 6 percent to $63 million, compared to $68 million in the same period of the prior year.
In the first quarter of 2018, Egypt’s exports of building materials increased 7 percent, recording $1.5 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in the same period of 2017.
In 2017, building materials’ exports recorded $5.08 billion, and the council is targeting to raise this amount to $5.6 billion in 2018, with a 10-percent increase.
Generally, Egyptian goods became attractive to foreign markets after the flotation of the state’s currency in November 2016, losing 50 percent of its value, which is reflected on the increased exports.
Egypt also benefits from the trade agreement that came into action lately, reflecting the rising volume of its exports. The state is involved in international trade deals such as the Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, including immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay going to Egypt.
The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies, and was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.
Another trade agreement that Egypt is attached to is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free-trade area with 19 member states, stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994 to replace the Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.