29 AUGUST 2001

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Trade gap down 42 per cent

The National Statistics Office last week reported that the visible trade gap had shrunk considerably, by an impressive 42 per cent over the first seven months of this year.

During the time frame, the gap between imports and exports decreased by Lm103.7 million to Lm142.7 million - compared to the Lm246.4 million registered for the same period last year.

A considerable drop in imports was a main contributor to the shrinking of the trade gap, with total imports dropping by Lm158.8 million, 18.9 per cent, to Lm678.8 million from Lm837.6 million last year.

Meanwhile, total exports dropped by Lm55.1 million to Lm536.1 million from Lm591.2 million last year. While domestic exports decreased by Lm52.2 million to Lm482.8 million, re-exports also dropped - by Lm2.9 million to Lm53.3 million.

The importation of Industrial Supplies saw the largest decline - by Lm133.6 million to Lm342.9 million from Lm476.5 million last year. Meanwhile, the importation of capital goods was down by Lm22.3 million to Lm120.9 million from Lm143.2 million last year.

However, at Lm157.1 million the importation of consumer goods was only marginally lower than the tally for the same period last year, while the importation of fuel and lubricants dropped by Lm1.7 million to Lm57.9 million from Lm59.6 million last year.

Taking a closer look at international trade carried out during the month of July alone, overall imports were found to be lower by Lm22.2 million, 17.4 per cent. to Lm105.4 million from Lm127.6 million last year.

Imports of industrial supplies dropped by Lm20.9 million to Lm50.5 million from Lm71.4 million last year, while, at Lm22.2 million, imports of capital goods were down by Lm1.4 million over July of last year.

On the other hand, the importation of consumer goods increased by Lm3.1 million to Lm25.7 million. When compared to last year, the importation of fuel and lubricants declined by Lm3 million.

On the export side of the international market, total exports were down by Lm20.4 million to Lm67.5 million from Lm87.9 million trading registered in July of 2000. While domestic exports declined by Lm23.5 million to Lm56 million, re-exports were found to have increased by Lm3.1 million to Lm11.5 million.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt