World Economy

Egypt’s Trade Deficit Rises by 52%

Egypt’s Trade Deficit Rises by 52%Egypt’s Trade Deficit Rises by 52%

Egypt’s trade deficit stood at Egyptian pounds 24.6 billion ($3.14 billion) in April, rising by 52.7% from the 16.11 billion pounds it recorded during the same month last year, the state’s official statistics agency reported on Tuesday.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said in its report that the state’s exports declined by 18.9% this April, standing at 14 billion pounds, as opposed to 17.26 billion pounds in April 2014, Egypt’s Aswat Masriya reported.

The decline was owed to a decrease in the value of certain goods such as crude oil, petroleum products, plastic, clothes and potatoes.

Imports’ value meanwhile rose by 15.67%, inching to 38.6 billion pounds, from 33.37 billion pounds during the same month last year, CAPMAS reported.

An increase in the value of certain goods caused the rise in imports’ value, CAPMAS said. Those goods included petroleum products, vehicles, corn and wood.

Egypt’s annual inflation rate stood at 11.5% in June, declining from the 13.5% it recorded in May.

Inflation increased last summer after the government reduced petroleum subsidies and introduced new taxes in July 2014, hiking fuel prices by up to 78%.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government reversed a former decision to halt the import of cotton, the cabinet announced on Wednesday.

The cabinet said in a statement that it is allowing “the import of cotton this year”.

On July 7, Egypt’s ministry of agriculture decided to halt the cotton imports “to protect local produce” and “resolve problems related to marketing it.”

At the time, the ministry spokesman told Aswat Masriya that the decision is temporary, but did not say when it will be suspended.

The Egyptian government lifted cotton subsidies completely at the beginning of 2015. The subsidy cost the government $550 million in the last season it was applied.

Cotton cultivation is expected to span 260,000 acres this year, according to an Agriculture Ministry report issued in March.