Mauritian exports to Africa dip in the first quarter of 2014
According to Statistics Mauritius, this decrease in sales to the rest of Africa is largely due to a reduction in the island economy’s exports to South Africa. (Image: Proudly African)
The total exports of the island economy to the African continent plunged 5.3% in the first quarter of 2014, amounting to Rs 3.2 billion in the first three months of the year against Rs 3.4 billion from January to March 2013.
According to Statistics Mauritius, this decrease in sales to the rest of Africa is largely due to a reduction in Mauritian exports to South Africa.
The total exports of Rs 3.2 billion recorded for the period January-March 2014 consist of domestic exports of Rs 2 billion, against Rs 2.2 billion for the same quarter of 2013, and re-exports of Rs 1.2 billion, against Rs 1.1 billion for the corresponding period of 2013.
On the domestic exports front, the South African market dipped from Rs 1.3 billion to Rs 1.1 billion.
Besides re-exports to South Africa also took a beating, decreasing from Rs 138 million to Rs 109 million in the first quarter of 2014.
On the other hand domestic exports to the Madagascar market, which is second in importance at the regional level, inched up from Rs 547 million to Rs 568 million.
Concerning re-exports, Madagascar hit a respectable Rs 618 million for the first quarter 2014 against Rs 483 million for the corresponding quarter of last year.
Regarding imports from the African continent, it was estimated at Rs 4.1 billion in the first quarter 2013 to fall to Rs 3.8 billion in Jan-Mar 2014, representing a decrease of 7.7%.
Imports from the top-ranked regional supplier, South Africa, saw a dip of 8% to hit Rs 2.3 billion against Rs 2.5 billion for the first quarter 2013.
Additionally, imports from Kenya flopped from Rs 410 million to Rs 368 million as well as from Seychelles which took a steep plunge from Rs 200 million to Rs 50 million in the first quarter 2014.
Once again, like on the exports front, Madagascar upped the ante with imports from the Indian Ocean Island increasing from 121 million to Rs 205 million in the latest quarter.
Assessing trade between Mauritius and countries of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) over the period January-March, 2014, Statistics Mauritius reports that Mauritian exports were Rs 1.5 billion against Rs 1.4 billion for the same period of 2013 while imports decreased to Rs 998 million against Rs 1.2 billion in 2013.
Madagascar is seen as the biggest market for Mauritius within the COMESA as the island economy’s sales to Madagascar reached Rs 1.2 billion while Seychelles bagged second slot with Rs 185 million. In this context, it may be noted that South Africa is not a member of the COMESA.
Mauritius enjoys an encouraging trade balance with Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros and Zimbabwe.
Regarding trade with the SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries, the first quarter of 2014 showed a deficit of Rs 392 million, resulting from imports valued at Rs 3.0 million against exports worth Rs 2.6 million.
Within the SADC, the main supplier was South Africa with 77.2% while the main buyers were Madagascar with 45.4%, followed by South Africa with 44.8%.