Friday, August 18, 2017 - 8:19:43

Nation's trade deficit roars back in August

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The General Statistics Office has estimated that the country had a trade deficit of 800 million USD in August after gaining a trade surplus last month for the first time since 2009.

According to the office's preliminary statistics, export turnover in August decreased 10.9 percent over the previous month to 8.3 billion USD. In contrast, imports rose 10.7 percent to 9.1 billion USD.

The office attributed the deficit to a sharp drop in the export of precious metals and gemstones in August. Export turnover of the products, which mainly contributed to help the country enjoy a trade surplus of 1.1 billion USD last month, decreased sharply by 82 percent to 200 million USD in August.

Besides the decline in export of precious metals and gems, the GSO said that an export reduction in the country's several key export items also caused the trade deficit.

Textiles and garments were the only export product that earned a turnover of more than 1 billion USD in August. Other key export staples including crude oil and seafood contributed only 750 million USD and 590 million USD, respectively.

The main import commodities in August were petrol, worth 967 million USD, cloth at 540 million USD and electronic products and computers valued at 600 million USD.

With August's deficit, the GSO estimated the country had a trade deficit of 6.22 billion USD in the first eighth months of the year, equal to 10.23 percent of the country's total export turnover. The country bagged an export earning of 60.8 billion USD, up 33.7 percent over the same period last year, while spending 67.02 billion USD on imports, a 25.4 percent surge over the same period last year.

The GSO noted that State-owned enterprises during the first eight months made up nearly a half to the country's total export turnover with 28.1 billion USD, up 32.6 percent over the same period last year. The businesses meanwhile spent 36.9 billion USD on imports./.
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