International trade deficit up by €208.4 million on last year
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Preliminary figures show that Malta registered a trade deficit of €273.0 million in October 2016, up by €208.4 million when it stood at €64.6 million in the corresponding month of 2015, the National Statistics Office said today..
Imports increased by €98.6 million, while exports decreased by €109.8 million. The increase in the value of imports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment (€89.3 million), while on the exports side mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€101.6 million) accounted for the main decrease.
During the first ten months this year, the trade deficit widened by €375.5 million when compared to the corresponding period last year, reaching €2,590.7 million. Imports show an increase of €303.1 million, while exports decreased by €72.3 million.
Higher imports were mainly due to machinery and transport equipment, which increased by €469.2 million. This was partly outweighed by decreases in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€63.8 million), semi-manufactured goods (€41.7 million), miscellaneous manufactured articles (€38.0 million), and chemicals (€36.6 million).
The decrease in the value of exports was mainly triggered by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€545.6 million), food (€34.6 million), and machinery and transport equipment (€32.1 million). This was partly outweighed by an increase of €555.3 million in chemicals.
Malta’s trade imports from the European Union reached €2,629.7 million, or 47.2 per cent of total imports. There was a decrease of €292.0 million in imports from euro area countries when compared to the same period last year.
Main increases and decreases in imports were registered from the Caribbean and Bahamas Islands (€592.5 million) and the Netherlands (€199.2 million) respectively. On the export side, the main increase was directed to the United States of America (€595.0 million), whereas Africa (€378.4 million) registered the largest drop.