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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Trade deficit down 50% in the first half of the year

The Trade and Industry Ministry announced on Thursday that the trade deficit for 1H2017 was nearly halved thanks to falling imports and a modest bump in exports. The ministry says the trade deficit dropped 46% y-o-y to USD 13 bn. This came as imports fell 30% to USD 24 bn compared to the same period last year, Exports, meanwhile, rose 8% to USD 11 bn, Reuters notes. Trade Minister Tarek Kabil says the improvement came after the government’s crackdown on lower-quality imports, replacing imported manufacturing inputs with local ones whenever feasible, and expanding exports. The largest increases in exports came in chemicals and fertilizers, construction materials, and ready-made garments, according to Ahram Gate. The news adds context to a Reuters piece we noted on Thursday that surveyed six importers who said the tonnage they have brought into the country was down 25% compared to last year.

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