The deficit narrowed at the end of April

Morocco’s trade deficit continues to narrow in the first four months of 2021, according to figures released by the Foreign Exchange Office. Over the first four months of the year, it fell by 4.2% (2.782MDH) thanks to the dynamism of exports which recorded an increase of 18.729MDH or + 22.3% greater than that of imports ( + 15.947MDH or + 10.7%). Compared to the same period of 2019, exports increased by 1.034MDH while imports were down by 3.537MDH, said the office. “The increase in imports of goods (+ 10.7%) is explained by the increase in purchases of almost all product groups, mainly finished consumer products (+ 7.845MDH), semi-finished products (+ 3.241MDH), and capital goods (+ 2.606MDH) ”, underlined the office. As for the supply of energy products, statistics show that they have recorded a slight decrease of 177MDH, we note in the monthly indicators of foreign trade for April 2021 of the Office of Foreign Exchange. According to the same source, the increase in imports of finished consumer products (+ 24.7%) is explained “essentially by the increase in purchases of parts and parts for passenger cars (+ 51.6%) and those of cars. tourism (+ 36.2%) ”. It must be said that after a drop observed during the year 2020, following the repercussions of the Covid19 pandemic on several parts of the national economy, imports of these two products started to rise again reaching levels above those made in 2019. We should also underline the increase in imports of semi-finished products which jumped by 10% to reach 35.650MDH at the end of April 2021 against 32.409MDH a year earlier, mainly following the increase in purchases of wires, bars and profiles in copper (+ 54.1%). As for the purchases of capital goods, the data collected indicates that they rose from 36.599MDH at the end of April 2020 to 39.205MDH at the end of April 2021, an increase of 7.1%. Note that “the share of these two groups of products in total imports at the end of April 2021 is 45.3%,” said the Foreign Exchange Office. Up 22.3% (+ 18.729MDH), exports rose from 83.895MDH at the end of April 2020 to 102.624MDH at the end of the first four months of the current year. According to the Office, this increase concerned sales of the majority of sectors, mainly the automotive sector, that of phosphates and derivatives and that of textiles and leather. After analysis, it appears that exports from the automotive sector stood at 29.522MDH at the end of April 2021 against 18.155MDH a year earlier. This corresponds to an improvement of + 62.6% (+ 11.367MDH). It should be noted that this development is attributed to the increase in sales of the construction segment and those of the cabling segment, which rose by + 71.9% and + 50.4% respectively. And that these exports are higher than those achieved during the same period in 2019, as the Office recalled in its note. Due mainly to the increase in sales of phosphoric acid (+ 1.606MDH) and those of natural and chemical fertilizers (+ 1.127MDH), exports of phosphates and derivatives increased by 16.9% (+2.629 MDH), reaching 18.173MDH at the end of April 2021 against 15.544MDH at the end of April 2020. While the sales of phosphates showed a slight decrease of 4.6% (-104MDH). They amounted to 2.167MDH at the end of April 2021 against 2.271MDH a year earlier. Regarding textile and leather exports, which jumped by 22.8% (+ 2.017MDH) at the end of April 2021, the Foreign Exchange Office justifies this development by sales of ready-made clothing and those of hosiery items which have increased. recorded respective increases of 24.1% (+ 1.305MDH) and 37.3% (+ 608MDH). The same source indicates that “the exports of the agriculture and agrifood sector, those of electronics and electricity and those of other mining extractions show respective increases of 3.2%, 33.9% and 53.9% at the end of April 2021 ”. In its note, the Foreign Exchange Office announced, however, that the increase in exports (+ 22.3%) was mitigated by the drop in sales in the aeronautical sector, which fell by 10.8% (-541MDH). Indeed, they only reached 4.470MDH at the end of April 2021 against 5.011MDH at the end of April 2020. Thus, “the share of this sector in total exports lost 1.6 points to 4.4% against 6% a year earlier,” said the Office. Alain Bouithy