Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Morocco Imports Up 4.8% by End of July | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People wait with their cars to get on a ferry to Morocco at the southern Spanish port of Algeciras July 31, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Casablanca- Moroccan commercial deficit increased end of last July around 7.5% due to imports exceeding exports.

The Moroccan Exchange Office, a governmental authority assigned to monitor currencies exchange and funds transfer, attributed the pick-up of Moroccan imports (up to 4.8% in current time) to rise of investment goods’ imports. Major imports included equipment related to the high speed rail line which will connect Casablanca to Tangier in addition to cars, a recently increasing passion among Moroccans.

Investment goods imports rose 22%, in the meantime, and reached MAD67 billion (USD6.7 billion), representing 29% of the total imports value in Morocco. Consumer goods on the other hand increased 15.2% and represented 20% of the imports value.

Amid the first of its kind new vehicles sales boom in Morocco, sales rose 45% since the beginning of 2016 thanks to the government offering taxes privileges to companies and cabs owners who are willing to purchase new vehicles, not to mention the generous offers of agents wishing to enhance sales after three years of recession.

Food imports increased 15.5%; wheat imports also rose up 21%. However, Moroccan imports of raw material, especially sulfur, dropped 25% while mineral wastes and remains of iron dropped 70%. Challenges facing some heavy industries in the aftermath of the international crises and dumping the Moroccan market caused this drop. Energy goods imports declined 30% as well as a result to the falling oil prices.

As for Moroccan exports, they reached MAD130.8 billion (USD13.1 billion) end of July, an increase of 2.7% with the vehicles’ industry topping the list.

Despite late rains in 2015, agriculture exports and food goods rose 7.1% representing 21% of the total exports value due to honorable outcomes of fruits, vegetables, spring and summer planting.