Morocco’s trade gap narrows 5.3% y/y to USD 11.5bn in January-June 2013

By bne IntelliNews July 16, 2013

Morocco's foreign trade deficit shrank 5.3% y/y to MAD 97.5bn (USD 11.5bn) in H1 as falling imports kept offsetting a milder drop in exports, preliminary data from the Office de Change showed.

Falling energy and food purchases weighed on imports, while shrinking mining and quarrying and chemicals sales continued to dent exports. But the Office de Change noted a 36% y/y increase in energy imports in June alone, meaning that Morocco’s favourable trade balance parameters might reverse in H2.

Exports fell 0.9% y/y to MAD 92.4bn in H1 and imports dropped 3.2% to MAD 189.9bn. Energy purchases shrank 8.3% y/y (16% contraction at end-May) to MAD 47.5bn on favourable seasonal factors. Food imports also fell 7% to MAD 19.8bn in January-June. A strong harvest output that boosted mainly grain stocks cut purchases over the period. Falling consumption goods purchases, mainly those of passenger cars (down 14% y/y), auto-parts (13%) and apparels (down 25%) also weighed on imports.

Phosphates and derivatives exports shrank 14% y/y to MAD 20.1bn in H1 on slower EU demand and lower basic commodity prices. Sales of the value-added textile and leather fell 2% to MAD 16.8bn. Food-related exports increased 3.0% y/y to MAD 17.6bn over the period given high local stock.

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