The deficit in Egypt’s trade balance has grown by 69.2 per cent in September 2011 over September 2010 to reach LE18.6 billion ($3.1 billion), according to data from Egypt’s official statistics body, CAPMAS.
The significant annual increase in trade deficit is mainly attributed to the surge in imports, which rose by 39.3 per cent, partially offset by the increase in Exports by 12.8 per cent.
Imports reached LE32.618 billion in September 2011, opposed to LE23.5 billion in the same month last year. The CAPMAS report attributed the surge to the growth in the prices of major products, mainly petroleum.
The growth in trade balance deficit, along with decline in tourist revenues and investment outflow caused Egypt's net foreign reserves to plunge a further US$1.95 billion in November.
Reserves now sit at $20.15 billion, down from $22.1 billion at the end of October.