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AfricaMoney | August 22, 2017

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Mauritius’ Sept trade deficit zooms up 48.2% year-on-year

Mauritius’ Sept trade deficit zooms up 48.2% year-on-year

The official trade report showed that the gap between imports and exports of goods had widened drastically, zooming up 29.4% and 48.2% compared to August 2013 and September 2012 respectively. (Image: Reuters)

Mauritius’ trade deficit went up by a whopping 48.2% in September compared to a year ago to Rs 8.01 billion ($263.05 million), on the back of rising costs of imported mineral fuels and lubricants, according to Statistics Mauritius data.

Released yesterday, the official trade report showed that the gap between imports and exports of goods had widened drastically, zooming up 29.4% and 48.2% compared to August 2013 and September 2012 respectively.

The deterioration in the balance of visible trade was contributed primarily by an increase in the value of imports, even as exports struggled to play catch-up.

Imports saw a stark 26.8% rise to Rs 14.94 billion in September 2013 compared to Rs 11.79 billion in the corresponding period a year ago. The cost of mineral fuels and lubricants was the main contributor to spiraling imports, hitting Rs 3.31 billion rupees from 2.24 billion in the year-ago period. Besides, food and live animals imports also witnessed the second largest increase among all import categories to reach Rs 3.06 billion, compared to Rs 2.03 billion a year ago.

Overall, even as imports increased by 26.8% compared to September 2012, they rose by 8.1% compared to August 2013, when their value stood at Rs 13.83 billion.

Meanwhile, exports rose a meagre 8.7% to Rs 6.93 billion from Rs 6.38 billion a year ago, driven by higher revenue from sales of food and live animals which went up 4.92% to Rs 2.05 billion. The category of ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ continued to contribute over a third of total exports across September 2013 and September 2012, but witnessed a decline of 4.2% to Rs 2.31 billion compared to the year-ago period.

Also, while total exports increased 8.7% compared to September 2012, they actually dipped 9.2% compared to the previous month, when they totaled Rs 7.64 billion.

In the country-wise analysis, Britain, accounting for 14.5% of export sales, emerged as the main destination for goods sold from Mauritius in September. France (10.3%), USA (10.2%) and South Africa (10.0%) were the other major buyers for goods exported from the island economy.

On the imports front, India ranked as the top supplier to the island nation, contributing 25.7% of total imports. China, at 12.6%, was the second most important supplier of goods to Mauritius. However, Vietnam was a surprise entry at the third spot, with supplies from the South-East Asian economy moving up from a meagre Rs 30 million in the year-ago period to Rs 999 million, or 6.6% of total imports, in September 2013.

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