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AfricaMoney | August 21, 2017

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Mauritius sees trade deficit shrink by 8.7% year-on-year in April as exports rise

Mauritius sees trade deficit shrink by 8.7% year-on-year in April as exports rise

Export revenues for mercantile goods rose by a towering 17.1%, or Rs 1.13 billion, to Rs 7.76 billion compared to the year-ago period, driven by higher machinery and transport equipment sales that rose four-fold from Rs 126 million to Rs 531 million. (Image: Iridium Express)

Mauritius’ trade deficit narrowed by 8.7% in April to Rs 5.86 billion from the corresponding year-ago period, according to Statistics Mauritius data released today.

The data collection agency also noted that the deficit on the balance of visible trade was higher by 3.3% compared to the previous month, even as it was lower by 8.7% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

Export revenues for mercantile goods rose by a towering 17.1%, or Rs 1.13 billion, to Rs 7.76 billion compared to the year-ago period, driven by higher machinery and transport equipment sales, which showed a four-fold rise from Rs 126 million to Rs 531 million.

Besides, sales of miscellaneous manufactured articles rose from Rs 2.22 billion in April 2013 to Rs 2.59 billion in April 2014, while the category of ‘Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material’ also showed a significant rise from 602 million in April 2013 to Rs 854 million in April this year.

However, exports were only up 5.8%, or Rs 426 million, compared to the previous month when they stood at Rs 7.34 billion, driven by a rise in the sales of manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, which saw an increase from Rs 672 million in March 2014 to Rs 854 million in April 2014.

The category which showed the second-highest rise was that of machinery and transport, which rose from Rs 324 million to Rs 531 million.

Meanwhile, imports moved up marginally by 4.4% to Rs 13.62 billion compared to the year-ago period, led by the rising cost of machinery and transport equipment that increased to Rs 3.05 billion from Rs 2.44 billion a year ago, the statement said.

However, the rise in the cost of machinery and transport equipment was counterbalanced by the fall in the cost of mineral fuels and lubricants from Rs 2.85 billion a year ago to Rs 2.52 billion in April 2014.

Further, imports were up 4.7% compared to the previous month when they stood at Rs 13.02 billion, again on the back of rising machinery and transport equipment purchases that increased to Rs 3.05 billion from Rs 2.19 billion a month ago.

Here, the drop in the cost of mineral fuels and lubricants was even steeper, from Rs 3.60 billion in March 2014 to Rs 2.52 billion in April 2014.

France (13.9%), United Kingdom (13.9%), and USA (9.6%) were the major exports destinations in April 2014 while the island economy’s imports were mainly from India (20.6 %), China (15.6%), France (8.1%) and South Africa (7.0 %).

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