Mauritius expected to close 2014 with trade deficit falling marginally to Rs 76 bn
Exports in 2014 are expected to be higher at Rs 99 billion (2013: Rs 88.15 billion), as a result of greater re-exports of mobile phones, while imports will be more than last year, at Rs 175 billion (2013: Rs 165.66 billion), basis higher imports of mobile phones for re-exports, offset by lower forecast of heavy machinery and refined petroleum products. (Image: CHCL)
Mauritius’ trade deficit for 2014 is expected to reduce by around 1.95% to Rs 76 billion, with total exports of Rs 99 billion and imports forecast at Rs 175 billion, according to data by Statistics Mauritius.
For last year, the trade deficit at Rs 77.5 billion had worked out to 4.7% lower than the deficit of Rs 81,338 million for 2012, so, if 2014 closes at a lower trade deficit of Rs 76 billion, this would represent 2 consecutive years of narrowing trade deficit with balance of trade swinging in favour of the island economy.
The total exports expected for this year will be a result of higher re-exports of mobile phones, while imports will be greater on account of higher imports of mobile phones for re-exports, offset by lower forecast of heavy machinery and refined petroleum products.
Statistics Mauritius underlined that this estimation is based on available trade data for the first nine months of 2014, as well as information from various sources.
For the third quarter of 2014, total exports are valued at Rs 26.25 billion, showing an increase of 17.2% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2013.
This increase is mainly explained by a rise in the re-exports of ‘Telecommunication equipment and accessories’ from Rs 422 million to Rs 3.48 billion.
Compared to the previous quarter, total exports for the third quarter of 2014 rose by 3.2%.
Concerning the exports of Export Oriented Enterprises, it increased by 0.5% over the corresponding period of 2013 to reach Rs 12.14 billion.
For the first nine months of 2014, European countries were the main buyers, purchasing some 49.2% of the island’s exports amounting Rs 29.71 billion.
The United Kingdom remained the main market, absorbing Rs 8.15 billion worth of products from Mauritius, which represent 13.5% of total exports. The other major destinations for Mauritian exports were France with 11.8%, U.S.A 10.6%, United Arab Emirates 9.1%, Italy 7.7%, South Africa 6.9% and Madagascar 6.3%.
On the other hand, total imports rose by 8.4% to reach Rs 45.60 billion in the third quarter of 2014, from Rs 42.06 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2013.
Compared to the previous quarter, imports increased by 8.8%, mainly due to higher imports of ‘Food and live animals’ and ‘Machinery and equipment’ with increases of 19.5% and 18.7% respectively.
Total imports for the first nine months of 2014 amounted to Rs 123.13 billion, showing an increase of 4.0% over the corresponding period of 2013.
Imports of refined petroleum products increased by 8.3% to Rs 7.44 billion, compared to the corresponding period of 2013. Compared to the previous quarter, the increase works out to 8.7%.
Imports from India and France, the main suppliers to Mauritius, dropped by 6.8% and 4.8% respectively, while imports from China rose by 19.0% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2013.
Finally, the trade deficit for the third quarter of 2014 works out to Rs 19.35 billion, 1.5% higher than the deficit of Rs 19.65 billion for the corresponding period of 2013.