Morocco Trade Deficit Rises by 29%

Morocco Trade Deficit Rises by 29%

Chaima Lahsini
Morocco Trade Deficit Rises by 29%
Morocco Trade Deficit Rises by 29%

Rabat – Morocco imported around MAD 32.33 billion of goods in early 2017, compared to last year’s MAD 28.78 billion.

Morocco’s commercial balance is in a critical state. According to the preliminary studies done by the Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office of external trading, the trade deficit increased by 29%, a rise of MAD 2.74 billion compared to the same period of the previous year.

Foreign Exchange Office numbers showed that Morocco registered an increase in imports of goods (MAD +3.556 billion) greater than that of exports (MAD +810 million). Imports reached MAD 32,338 billion against MAD 28.782 billion in January 2016, an increase of 12.4%, which they attributed largely to the increase in purchases of energy products (MAD +2.311 billion) in relation to the increase in the purchase price on the international market.

Excluding purchases of energy products, imports increased only by 4.9% or MAD +1.245 billion. The increase also concerned imports of capital goods (MAD +591 million) and finished consumer products (MAD +447 million). On the other hand, food supplies fell by MAD 423 million, notably wheat (MAD -753 million).

Exports rose by 4.2%, MAD 20.274 billion instead of MAD 19.464 billion a year earlier, which was mainly due to the increase in sales of phosphates by MAD 757 million (MAD 3.755 billion instead of 2.998 billion), which represents 93.5% of the total increase in exports.

Thus, the trade deficit stood at MAD 12.064 billion in January 2017 against MAD 9.318 billion a year earlier and the coverage rate at 62.7% against 67.6%.

On the other hand, the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) recovered markedly during the month of January. According to the Foreign Exchange Office, FDI increased from MAD 1.4 billion to MAD 1.74 billion in one year MAD 314 million, marking an increase of 22,4%. This evolution is explained by the decline in expenditure, which contracted by 45.2% at the end of January to reach MAD 482 million against MAD 892 million a year earlier.

Remittances from Moroccan living abroad (MRE) were up by 2.6%, with an additional of MAD 121 million. The amount generated by MREs in the first month of 2017 is MAD 4.71 billion.

The Foreign Exchange Office also notes that the balance of travel is stable. At the end of January, the latter showed a surplus of around MAD 2.79 billion. This is due to increased revenue. Travel receipts were consolidated at the end of January by MAD 94 million, rising by 2.4% and amounting to around MAD 3.99 billion.

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