Morocco Jan-Oct trade deficit rises 15.8 pct year/year

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Morocco’s trade deficit rose 15.8 percent to 149.17 billion Moroccan dirhams ($14.87 billion) in the first 10 months of 2016 compared with the same period a year ago, due to higher imports, the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday.

Equipment imports rose 23.8 percent to 95.30 billion dirhams, while auto imports were 35.5 percent higher at 11.98 billion dirhams, the data showed.

Wheat imports also jumped as bad weather hurt the local harvest last year. The value of imports rose 38 percent from a year earlier to 10.24 billion dirhams at the end of October.

The North African kingdom’s energy import bill fell 21.5 percent to 44.16 billion dirhams compared with a year earlier, thanks to lower prices in the international market. Morocco is the biggest energy importer in the region.

Total exports rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 184.48 billion dirhams, led by a 12.2 percent rise in auto exports. Phosphate sales fell 12.8 percent to 32.88 billion dirhams.

Tourism receipts rose by 4.1 percent, while remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans living abroad were 4.2 percent up to 53.12 billion dirhams. Foreign direct investment fell 12.6 percent to 27.75 billion dirhams.

Source: Reuters Africa News

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