Egypt’s trade balance deficit went down by $80m year over year (y-o-y) during the first eight months (8M) of 2019 , according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s latest report on the indicators of the performance of non-oil foreign trade.
The report attributed this decrease to the ministry’s efforts in supporting local products to replace imports, as part of its plan to deepen domestic industrialization and promote foreign trade.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s non-oil exports achieved a 3% increase during 8M 2019, recording $17.65bn from $16.612bn during the same period last year.
The report also showed that the imports witnessed a slight increase of 1% during the first eight months of this year, reaching $40.551bn from $40.178bn during the period from January to August 2018.
Ismail Jaber, chairperson of the General Organisation for Export and Import Control showed out that three export sectors have observed a significant growth during the period from January to August, including the food products, agriculture, and garments sector.
He also revealed that the exports of food products rose to $2.3bn during the 8M of the current year, compared to $888m during the same period of the year, presenting a hike of 8%.
“Exports of agricultural crops recorded $1.763bn during the first eight months of 2019, from $1.626bn during the same period of 2018, an increase of 8%,” Jaber stated.
Furthermore, exports of the garment sector increased by 6% during the first eight months of 2019, reaching $1.105bn from $1.43bn during the same period of 2018.
Jaber pointed out the success of the ministry’s plan to rationalize imports that have a local counterpart and replace the foreign products by a local one.
He mentioned that six sectors have observed a significant decrease in imports during the first eight months of the current year, including the furniture, books and artistic works, building materials, chemical products, leather products, and food products sectors.
The imports of the furniture sector decreased by 61% during the first eight months of 2019, reaching $345m from $883m, while imports of books and artistic works decreased by 24% to reach $19 m, compared to $25m during the same period last year.
Jaber said that there are five countries whose markets accounted for 34% of the total Egyptian exports, including the United States, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Italy.
On the other hand, Jaber pointed out that there are five countries that accounted for 41.5% of the total Egyptian imports from abroad, including China, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Russia.