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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius trade deficit widens by 51.8% to Rs 5.8 bn in Feb on double-digit import growth

Mauritius trade deficit widens by 51.8% to Rs 5.8 bn in Feb on double-digit import growth

The main constituent of imports in February was machinery and transport items which accounted for 25.8% of all imports into the island economy — and saw overseas purchases rise a whopping 58.1% to Rs 3.3 billion — followed by manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, which also grew 32.6% to hit Rs 2.6 billion. (Image:dredgingtoday.com)

Mauritius faced a larger trade deficit in February 2015 from a year earlier, as the gap between imports to and exports from the island economy rose by 51.8% over February 2014 to reach Rs 5.8 billion, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

Besides the year-on-year increase, the month-on-month difference between imports and exports for February 2015 was also higher by 5.8% compared to January 2015.

The reason for the widening gap between imports and exports was that imports climbed a much steeper 20.5% to Rs 12.9 billion year-on-year, while exports inched up by just 3.2% to Rs 7.1 billion.

Compared to the month of February 2014, the main items that contributed to a rise in overseas purchases of goods from a year-ago were machinery and transport items, whose quantum rose a whopping 58.1% to Rs 3.3 billion, followed by manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, which also grew 32.6% to hit Rs 2.6 billion. The third main constituent of imports was food and live animals, which also showed an increase of 20.7 % to reach Rs 2.2 billion.

Next, compared to the month of January 2015, imports climbed up, albeit less steeply, due to a rise in manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, which rose a towering 36.1%, followed by food and live animal imports which rose by 11.3% on a month-on-month basis.

On the other hand, a drop of 18.2% was seen in imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials to hit Rs 2.6 billion.

Exports, on their part, increased by 3.2% in February 2015 compared to the previous month and by 4.8% compared to February 2014.

The main item that was responsible for the slow rise in exports was the category of food and live animals, whose outbound sales dipped by 19.1% from a year ago to hit a low of Rs 1.8 billion.

On the positive side, exports of machinery and transport inched up by 318.2% over the year-ago period to notch up outbound sales of Rs 1.8 billion for February 2015.

Geography-wise, United Arab Emirates at 18.1%, UK with 13.4%, USA at 9.5% and France at 8.9% were the major exports destinations for the island economy in February 2015.

On source markets, Mauritius mainly imported from China, which commanded a 21.0% share, with India following at 15.7%, South Africa at 7.0% and France at 6.4%.

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