For 2013, the island economy has incurred a trade deficit to the tune of Rs 77,513 million, 4.7% lower than the deficit of Rs 81,338 million for 2012, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

This narrowing of trade deficit, the difference between exports and imports, is explained by an increase in exports for the full year at 10.7% with foreign sales valued at Rs 88,148 million over the 2012 figure of Rs 79,658.

This increase is mainly explained by rise in sales of Machinery and transport equipment (+53.7%), Ships stores and bunkers (+31.7%), Cane sugar (+16.6%) and Fish and fish preparations (+14.7%), which was partly offset by a fall in sales of Apparel & clothing accessories (-2.1%).

A quarter-wise analysis shows that total export proceeds for the fourth quarter of 2013 amounted to Rs 23,560 million, an increase of 4.8% and 8.6% compared to the previous quarter and corresponding quarter respectively.

Further, exports of Export Oriented Enterprises (EOE) for the year 2013 amounted to Rs 46,851 million, which represents an increase of 2.7% over 2012.

Besides, comparison of exports figures for 2013 with those of 2012 shows that exports towards the main destinations for the island economy rose for Italy (31.8%) and USA (8.0%) but declined for Spain (13.7%), South Africa (9.8%), United Kingdom (4.2%), Madagascar (2.8%) and France (1.4%).

On the imports front, for the year 2013, purchases amounted to Rs 165,661 million, up 2.9% from Rs 160,996 million in 2012. This increase is mainly due to rise in imports of Fish and fish preparations (+8.2%) and Refined petroleum products (+6.8%).

An analysis of the sources of imports shows that Spain and India increased their share by 19.5% and 7.6% respectively while purchases from China and South Africa declined by 5.9% and 2.9% respectively.

On a quarterly basis, total imports hit Rs 47,200 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, showing an increase of 12.3% over the previous quarter of 2013 and a rise of 5.5% when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2012.

Finally, Statistics Mauritius has forecast that, based on recent past trends and indicative information from various sources, total exports for the year 2014 are likely to touch Rs 91,000 million, against Rs 175,000 million for imports. Consequently, the trade deficit is expected to be around R 84,000 million.

Image (IBL Maritime): Exports for the full year rose 10.7% with foreign sales valued at Rs 88,148 million over the 2012 figure of Rs 79,658.

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