Morocco Jan-Nov trade deficit rises 18%

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

RA­BAT: Morocco’s trade deficit rose 18 per­cent to 166.03 bil­lion dirhams ($16.43 bil­lion) in the first 11 months of 2016 com­pared with the same pe­riod a year ago, the for­eign ex­change reg­u­la­tor said on Fri­day cit­ing in­creased im­ports. Equip­ment im­ports rose 25.5 per­cent to 106.71 bil­lion dirhams, while auto im­ports were 31.8 per­cent higher at 12.92 bil­lion dirhams, the data showed. Wheat im­ports also jumped as bad weather hurt the lo­cal har­vest last year, ris­ing 37.5 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 11.22 bil­lion dirhams at the end of Novem­ber. The en­ergy im­port bill fell 20 per­cent to 49.19 bil­lion dirhams com­pared with a year ear­lier, thanks to lower prices in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Morocco is the big­gest en­ergy im­porter in the North Africa re­gion. To­tal ex­ports rose 1.4 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 203.18 bil­lion dirhams, led by a 8.5 per­cent rise in auto ex­ports. Phos­phate sales fell 12.5 per­cent to 35.76 bil­lion dirhams as prices fell in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

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