Morocco’s trade deficit widened by 12.6 percent to MAD 85.8 billion between September 2017 and September 2018.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows were down by 2.7 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, the Foreign Exchange Office (FEO) reported. The FEO reported the figures in its monthly foreign trade indicators for September 2018.
The increase in the deficit is caused by a larger increase in imports, up MAD 31.39 billion, than in exports, up MAD 21.81 billion. Morocco’s debt-service coverage ratio was 77.7 percent in the period, compared with 78.4 percent in the previous year.
Morocco’s increase in imports was mainly driven by the purchases of energy products, up 19.6 percent; raw materials, up 19.1 percent; capital goods, up 10 percent; food products, up 8.5 percent; and finished consumer products, up 6.8 percent.
Exports also increased by 7.9 percent to MAD 298.2 billion in the first nine months of 2018. The rise can be attributed to increased exports in all sectors, but particularly that of phosphates and derivatives, up 16.8 percent; automobiles, up 14.7 percent; aeronautics, up 14 percent; and agriculture and food, up 6.3 percent.
FDI inflows amounted to MAD 19 billion in the 12-month period up to September 2018, down 2.7 percent compared to the same 12-month period of the previous year. The drop is the result of a higher increase in spending, up 43.6 percent, than in revenues, up 8 percent.
Spending on FDI in the 12-month period amounted to MAD 8.5 billion; 37.1 percent of the spending was on debt repayments.
Overall revenues from Moroccans residing abroad (MREs) were slightly down by 0.2 percent at MAD 49.7 billion in the first nine months of 2018. MREs returning home had spent a net balance of MAD 40.3 billion in the same period, compared to MAD 41.8 billion a year earlier.