9 Sep 2008
Trade deficit for 2008 would be around Rs 60 billion. This figure announced by the Central Statistical Office is based on trends for previous years. Total exports for the year 2008 are expected to be of the order of Rs 70 billion, against imports of Rs 130 billion.
Total exports for the first semester of 2008 stood at Rs 30,2 billion against imports of Rs 63 billion resulting in a trade deficit of Rs 32,6 billion, which is 55.4% higher than the figure of Rs 21 billion for the corresponding period of 2007.
Total export proceeds for the first semester of 2008 were valued at Rs 30,2 billion, showing a decrease of 5.8% over the corresponding semester of last year.
During the first semester of 2008, almost 45% of exports consisted of articles of apparel and clothing accessories (Rs 11, 8 billion), 13.3% of “fish and fish preparations” (Rs 3, 5 billion) and 8.7% of sugar (Rs 2, 3 billion).
The main export market remained the European continent with a share of 68.8%, while on a country-wise basis; the United Kingdom was the main buyer, accounting for 30.9% of total exports. The other main markets were France (16.0%), USA (7.2%) and Madagascar (6.6%).
Total imports for the first six months of 2008 reached Rs 63 billion, going up by 18.4% over the first semester of 2007.
During the first semester of 2008, “Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials” accounted for 23.8% of our imports, “Manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials” 18.2% and “Machinery and transport equipment” 18.1%.
The Asian countries supplied 54.6% of the imported products and another 24.3% came from European countries. The main source of imports was India (26.9%), followed by China (10.2%) and South Africa (7.8%). It is to be noted that compared to the first semester of 2007 imports from India rose by 37.7% following a substantial increase in the imports of petroleum products.