Trade deficit drops 21.4 % in December: CAPMAS

CAIRO: The trade deficit declined 21.4 percent to hit 18.04 billion EGP (U.S. $3.38 billion) in December 2013, compared to 22.95 billion EGP in December 2012, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics announced Monday.

The revenues of exports dropped to 16.82 billion EGP in December, registering a 3.1 percent fall, compared to 17.35 billion EGP in the same month of 2012, CAPMAS added in its Monthly Bulletin for Foreign Trade, released Monday.

CAPMAS attributed the decline to the price fall of some commodities such as petroleum products, fertilizers and crude oil.

Further, the total cost of imports dropped 13.5 percent, totaling 34.86 billion EGP in December, compared to 40.30 billion EGP in December in 2012, according to CAPMAS’s bulletin, citing the price fall of commodities like wheat, crude oil, petroleum products and individual cars.

The Egyptian economy suffers since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in the wake of the January 25 Revolution in 2011, with lower tourism revenues and less investments due to the political unrest.

However, $12 billion aid pledged to Egypt by Gulf States – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates – after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, helped the government commit to its obligations.

The budget deficit is expected to range between 11 to 12 percent, 240 billion EGP, by the end of the fiscal year 2013/2014, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.

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