Visible Trade Gap rises by €32 million in May
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Provisional data for international trade show that the visible trade gap in May 2008 stood at €106.9 million, up by €32.0 million from the same month last year. There was a decrease in imports of €21.7 million and a decrease in exports of €43.7 million. The decrease in imports was mainly due to industrial supplies.
Other decreases were recorded in capital goods and consumer goods. Machinery and transport equipment, miscellaneous manufactured articles and semi-manufactured goods accounted for the decrease in exports during May 2008 when compared to the same month last year.
During the first five months this year, the visible trade gap widened by €146.1 million, to stand at €459.9 million. This came about because of an increase of €77.2 million in imports and a decrease of €68.8 million in exports. Higher import values were mainly registered for mineral fuels and lubricants, food, chemicals and beverages and tobacco.
During this period the decrease in exports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment. Other decreases were registered in miscellaneous manufactured articles and beverages and tobacco.
An analysis of the total trade balance by commodity group, indicates that the deterioration in the balance for the first five months of 2008 was mainly due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, machinery and transport equipment, food and miscellaneous manufactured articles.
The bulk of Malta’s trade flows and consequent trade deficit continued to be directed towards the European Union during the first five months of 2008.