Egypt’s trade balance deficit falls 45% in April – CAPMAS

Egypt’s trade balance deficit declined 45 percent to $2.36 billion in April from $4.28 billion last year, the state-owned statistics agency CAPMAS said on Monday.

Exports dropped 32.3 percent to $1.84 billion in April against $2.72 billion during the same month in 2019, according to CAPMAS external trade data monthly bulletin, Ahram Online reported.

CAPMAS attributed the decline of exports to the export value decrease of some commodities, including fertilisers (by 9.9 percent), petroleum products (by 69.6 percent), doughs and food supplies (by 15 percent), and potatoes (by 18.6 percent).

On the other hand, the value of a number of exported commodities increased in April, including dairy products (0.2 percent), fresh fruits (20.2 percent), and frozen vegetables (3.5 percent).

CAPMAS also said imports decreased in April to $4.19 billion, down from $7 billion in April 2019, a decline rate of 40.1 percent due to the decrease in the value of some of imported commodities, including iron and steel raw materials (by 30.1 percent), pharmaceuticals and chemical supplies (by 10.4 percent), wheat (by 45.7 percent), and elastomer raw materials (by 35.7 percent).

However, some imported commodities witnessed an increase in April, including corn (by 2 percent), refined oils (by 6.6 percent), and paper used in news printing (by 6.8 percent).

In March, Egypt’s trade balance deficit saw an increase of $2.7 billion, up from $1.9 billion in February, according to CAPMAS.

Egypt’s non-petroleum imports declined by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2020, down from $13.81 billion in the same quarter of 2019, according to the General Organisation for Export and Import Control report.

Meanwhile, HC Securities, an investment bank, said in a report issued in April that prolonged lockdown periods and depressed international trade activity could lead to significant import savings, and that the trade balance deficit is expected to narrow to $31.5 billion in the fianncial year 2019/2020.