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Morocco?s trade deficit narrows 12% year/year in Jan-May

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07/01/2020 | 10:35am EDT
Employees work at a factory operated by Somaca in Tangiers

Morocco's trade deficit shrank by 12% to 73.7 billion dirhams ($7.58 billion) in the first five months of 2020 from a year earlier, the foreign exchange regulator said on Wednesday.

Imports dropped 16.9% to 174.5 billion dirhams and exports tumbled 20.1% to 100.8 billion dirhams, the regulator said in a monthly report citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Energy imports, including gas and oil, fell 9.2% to 22.9 billion dirhams, on the back of lower prices.

Drought has slashed by 42% Morocco's cereals harvest this year, leading to a spike in soft wheat imports to 7.8 billion dirhams and in barley to 1.5 billion dirhams.

The automotive sector still tops Morocco's industrial exports despite a drop in sales by 39.4% to 21.3 billion dirhams, while exports of phosphates and byproducts including fertilisers fell 1.6% to 20.5 billion dirhams.

Travel receipts, which are key to Morocco's inflow of hard currency, dropped 24.2% to 21.6 billion dirhams, remittances from Moroccans living abroad fell 12.4% to 22.6 billion dirhams and foreign direct investments slid 15.9% to 7.2 billion dirhams.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -1.12% 307.75 End-of-day quote.-20.63%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.13% 44.74 Delayed Quote.-32.36%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 -1.15% 495.5 End-of-day quote.-11.32%
WTI 0.38% 41.745 Delayed Quote.-31.45%
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