Trade deficit up 29% in May

Egypt’s trade deficit reached LE25.4 billion in May, up by 28.7 percent compared to the same month last year, the state statistics agency CAPMAS reported Monday.

The widening trade gap was driven by both a decline in exports from Egypt and an increase in imports from abroad. 

The value of Egypt’s exports fell from LE18.9 billion in May 2014 to LE16.2 billion in May 2015. CAPMAS attributes the drop to a decline in prices for export commodities like crude petroleum and fresh fruit.

Meanwhile, the value of imports to Egypt rose to LE41.6 billion, compared to LE38.7 billion in May 2014.

The country’s growing trade gap has been a key driver for an overall balance of payments deficit. 

Egypt ran an overall balance of payments deficit of US$1 billion for the first half of fiscal year 2014/15, compared to a surplus of around US$2 billion in the same period the year before.