Mauritius trade deficit lowered to Rs 5.09 billion in January 2014, improving by 41.3% over December 2013 and by 12.6% over the corresponding month in 2013, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.

In January 2014, exports fell by 14.5% compared to the previous month but rose by 11.2% compared to January 2013.

Thus, while exports for January 2014 stood at a lowly Rs 6.93 billion compared to Rs 8.11 billion in December 2013, they were higher than last year’s Rs 6.23 billion in January 2013.

The decline in export was spurred on mainly by reduced sales of food and live animals, but also by a slight dip in all categories of exported products apart from mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and animals and vegetable oils, fats & waxes.

Some of the sectors which showed a major decline were food and live animals which plunged from Rs 2.37 billion in December 2013 to Rs 1.71 billion in January 2014 and miscellaneous manufactured articles, which declined from Rs 2.67 billion to Rs 2.24 billion across the same period. On the other hand, the rise in exports between January 2013 and January 2014 came from increased sales of manufactured goods to Rs 2.24 billion this January from Rs 2.16 billion last year.

Coming to imports, total overseas purchases in January 2014 fell by 28.4% at Rs 12.0 billion compared to December 2013 when they stood at Rs 16.8 billion. But there was only a slight, 0.3% reduction compared to the same period last year when imports stood at Rs 12.1 billion in January 2013.

This decrease is mainly explained by reduced purchases of mineral fuels and lubricants from Rs 3.83 billion in December 2013 to Rs 2.17 billion in January 2014, as also by a significant decline in imports of machinery and transport equipment from Rs 4.22 billion to Rs 2.74 billion across the same period.

Besides, imports of food and live animals dipped from Rs 2.37 million in December 2013 to Rs 2.43 billion in January 2014 while beverage and tobacco purchases plunged from Rs 426 million in December 2013 to Rs 272 million to January 2014.

Finally, the major exports destinations for Mauritius goods in January 2014 were United Kingdom (17.1%), France (12.2%) and United States (12.0%) whereas, imports came in mainly from India (20.0%), China (15.0%), France (8.4%) and South Africa (6.3%).

Image (Mail & Guardian): The decline in export was spurred on mainly by reduced sales of food and live animals from Rs 2.37 billion in December 2013 to Rs 1.71 billion in January 2014.

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