Energy, commodities imports deepen Morocco’s trade deficit
Morocco’s trade deficit deepened 56% to 215 billion dirhams ($20 billion) up to August amid soaring prices of refined energy products, wheat and ammonia in the international market.
Energy imports increased 128% to 103 billion dirhams in the first eight months this year, partly because Morocco imports all of its refined gas and fuel oils, the foreign exchange office said.
Wheat imports increased to 18.8 billion dirhams compared to 9 billion dirhams the same period last year as the country reaps a meagre harvest after a severe drought.
As an essential component in fertilizers, ammonia imports nearly tripled to 13.5 billion dirhams.
Overall, imports increased 43% largely outweighing exports which also rose 37%.
Exports of phosphates and by-products jumped 67% to 77 billion dirhams as demand on fertilizers exceeded the offer following the disruptions in the supply chains in the wake of the russia-Ukraine war.
Remittances by Moroccans abroad and tourism receipts are both expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels showing a strong recovery.
Remittances grew 11% up to August to 71 billion dirhams while tourism receipts stood at 52 billion dirhams.