Egypt’s non-oil trade balance shrank by 17% in 2020

Imports to the Arab country also slid last year, by 12%, the Ministry of Trade and Industry reported.

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São Paulo – Egypt’s non-oil balance of trade shrank by 17% in 2020, while imports were down 12%, its Ministry of Trade and Industry said. Pictured above is the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Trade and Industry minister Niven Gamea said on Tuesday (19) that Egypt managed a positive performance in spite of the major impact of Covid-19 on global trade and supply chains, local newspaper Al Ahram reported. Non-oil trade slid to 38.2 billion from USD 46.2 billion in 2019, Gamea said.

Imports to Egypt slid to USD 63.5 billion in 2020 from USD 71.8 billion in 2019. This was due to the fact that domestic manufacturing of some industry inputs and supplies replaced imports to an extent, according to Gamea. Exports from Egypt were down slightly, by 1% to USD 25.2 billion.

The head of Egypt’s General Organization For Export & Import Control, Ismail Gaber, said there was a tangible increase in exports of construction materials, medical industry items and handicraft in 2020.

Construction materials exports climbed 20% to USD 6.1 billion, Gaber said. He also said the United Arab Emirates were the top destination at USD 2.1 billion in sales, followed by Canada and Italy.

Medical industry products’ exports climbed 1% to USD 548 million in 2020 from USD 540 million in 2019. Gaber said Saudi Arabia led the way at USD 84 million, followed by Yemen and Sudan.

He also said handicraft exports saw marginal growth, to USD 208 million last year from USD 207 million the year before. Turkey was the number one destination at USD 432 million, with Sudan and Germany ranking second and third.

Five countries accounted for a combined 35.6% of exports from Egypt in 2020: the UAE at USD 2.8 billion, Saudi Arabia at USD 1.7 billion, the United States, Turkey and Italy, Gaber said.

As for imports to Egypt, the leading source country was China at USD 11.5 billion, followed by the United States at USD 4.5 billion, Germany, Italy and Russia. Imports were down 24% for ready-made garments, 21% for handicraft and 20% for leather and footwear.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Khaled Desouki/AFP

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