Morocco's H1 trade deficit rises 2.2 percent

Figure was well below an annual increase of 10.7 percent recorded for the first quarter of 2014

Morocco's trade deficit rose 2.2 percent in the first half of 2014 from a year earlier to 102.45 billion dirhams ($12.45 billion), the foreign exchange regulator said on Tuesday.

However, the figure was well below an annual increase of 10.7 percent recorded for the first quarter of 2014.

Morocco's exports rose 7.4 pct in January-June, thanks to sharply higher exports from the auto, electronic and aviation industries, which surged respectively by 35.6 percent, 25.9 percent and 6.1 percent, helping to reduce the deficit significantly.

The regulator said imports for the first six months of 2014 totaled 203.47 billion dirhams, up from 194.29 billion a year earlier. Energy imports rose 5.3 percent to 50.59 billion dirhams from the same period of 2013.

Wheat imports jumped 35.7 percent to 8.87 billion dirhams compared with the same period last year as the government suspended customs duties and introduced subsidies from the start of January to the end of April to counter rising world prices.

Tourism receipts increased by 3.6 percent to 25.80 billion dirhams, while remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans living abroad fell slightly by 0.4 percent to 27.47 billion dirhams.

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