Imports of mobile phones have decreased 51.4% y-o-y during 1H2020, Capmas
Mobile phone imports drop by half as consumers postpone electronics purchases: The value of mobile phone imports dropped 51.4% y-o-y in 1H2020 to USD 362.37 mn, down from USD 746.18 mn last year, according to Capmas figures cited by Al Mal. January saw the biggest y-o-y tumble in imports, dropping 95.5% from January 2019. Imports remained consistently below 2019 indicators from February through June due to weak consumer demand caused by covid-19. Many consumers have chosen to put off new electronics purchases during the pandemic due to rising household costs and inflation, Cairo Chamber of Commerce board member Mohamed El Mahdi said. The shuttering of foreign electronics and spare parts suppliers for some three months at the height of the pandemic also contributed to the slowed figures, El Mahdi added.
Expect imports to slow even more as two new surtaxes come into effect: The government imposed a 5% “development fee” on the total cost of mobile phones after tacking on VAT and other taxes, which the House of Representatives approved in May. Just two months later, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) slapped an additional 5% import fee on mobile phone imports. Retailers were preemptively concerned that the NTRA’s fees could cause sales to contract further.