April visible trade gap widened by €50.6 million on last year
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The National Statistics Office has said that provisional data for international trade show that the visible trade gap in April stood at €119.7 million, up by €50.6 million when compared to the corresponding month in 2010. There were increases in imports and exports of €116.4 million and €65.8 million respectively. The increase in imports was mainly due to capital goods and fuels and lubricants, while decreases were registered in consumer goods and industrial supplies. Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials accounted for the main increase in exports when compared to the corresponding month in 2010. Other increases were recorded in miscellaneous manufactured articles, food and crude materials. Decreases were registered in machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, miscellaneous transactions and commodities, and semi-manufactured goods.
In the first four months this year, the visible trade gap widened by €15.8 million to €359.1 million. This was due to increases in imports and exports of €299.7 million and €284.0 million respectively, when compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The increase in imports was due to capital goods, industrial supplies, fuels and lubricants, and consumer goods. During this period the rise in exports was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. Other increases were noted in machinery and transport equipment, miscellaneous manufactured articles, semimanufactured goods, chemicals, crude materials and beverages and tobacco. Decreases were recorded in food, and miscellaneous transactions and commodities.
The bulk of Malta’s trade flows and consequent trade deficit continued to be directed towards the European Union. Increases were registered in imports from France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain and Belgium, while drops were recorded from the Netherlands. Exports to the euro area show an increase, mainly to Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, with other increases being recorded for the United Kingdom, China, Turkey and Switzerland.