Rabat - Trade deficit stood at MAD 93.74 billion in 2017’s first semester, compared to 86.82 billion in 2016’s, showing a worrying rise of 8 percent, according to the monthly indicators of the Exchange Office.
Rabat – Trade deficit stood at MAD 93.74 billion in 2017’s first semester, compared to 86.82 billion in 2016’s, showing a worrying rise of 8 percent, according to the monthly indicators of the Exchange Office.
In the first semester of 2017, imports registered a jump of 7.3 percent, an increase of MAD 14.8 billion compared the same period in 2016, according to the Exchange office. They reached MAD 217.64 billion compared to 202.8 billion a year earlier.
Imports were mainly driven by increases in energy products imports with a 36 percent growth rate, including gas-oils and fuel oil which recorded increases ranging between 28 percent and 46 percent due to the rise of international prices. Thus, this “worrying evolution,” as the Exchange Office describes it, resulted in a deepening of the trade deficit by MAD 7.15 billion.
Meanwhile, exports, which also rose by 6.6 percent, drained only half of the increase in the value of purchases, states the office in its foreign exchange monthly indicators’ note. Standing at MAD 123.66 billion instead of 115.974 billion in 2016, exports from all sectors, except pharmaceutical industry which remained stable, recorded increases, including sales in the agriculture and agri-food sector with MAD 2.14 billion, phosphates and derivatives with MAD 1.74 billion and automotive and aeronautics sector with 1.34 billion.
While the level of sales and their content remain far below the level of acquisitions, the trend in recent years shows that one point in export growth equals one point and a half of imports growth. These results are evidenced in intermediate goods that predominate imports, showing on some occasions double-digit growth, as well as a significant share of imports in temporary admission with 22 percent in 2016, according to the Exchange Office.
More positively, the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 20.1 percent, standing at MAD 14.9 billion compared to 12.42 billion at the end of June 2016. This development is due to a 0.7 percent increase in revenues with MAD 125 million, accompanied by a 46.3 percent decrease in expenditure.