Foreign trade at the end of the eleven months of 2022 shows a worsening of the trade deficit to 287 billion dirhams against 182.9 billion dirhams, an increase of 56.9%.
This thanks to an increase in imports, +42.3% or +201 billion dirhams, much greater than exports, despite a good performance of the latter, +33.1% or +97 billion dirhams. Without this, the widening of the trade deficit could have been more serious.
In the same vein, the rate of coverage of imports by exports lost points, falling from 61.5% at the end of November 2021 against 57.6% this year.
Exports reach 389.8 billion dirhams
In detail, Moroccan exports increased, at the end of November, by 33.1% or +97 billion dirhams, standing at 389.8 billion dirhams. This increase concerns exports from all sectors, at the head of which are phosphates and derivatives, the automotive sector and that of agriculture and agri-food:
– Sales of phosphates and derivatives increased by 54.8% to stand at 108 billion dirhams at the end of November 2022 against 69.7 billion dirhams at the end of November 2021. This increase is attributable to the increase in exports of natural and chemical fertilizers (+30 billion dirhams) due to the price effect which almost doubled (8,678 dirhams/t at at the end of November 2022 against 4,539 DH/T at the end of November 2021). On the other hand, the quantities exported fell by 12.1%.
– Sector sales automotive amount to 100 billion dirhams, posting an increase of 35% or +26 billion dirhams at the end of November 2022. These exports crossed the 100 billion dirhams mark for the first time. This increase relates to sales in the construction (+46.2%), those of the segment of wiring (+27.6%), and to a lesser extent, those in the vehicle interiors and seats (3.4%).
– Sector exports agriculture and agri-food settle at 73 billion dirhams at the end of November 2022 against 62 billion dirhams for the same period of the previous year, an increase of 18.3% or +11 billion dirhams. This change is explained by the simultaneous increase in sales of the food industry (+21.8% or +7 billion dirhams) and those of agriculture, forestry and hunting (+13.7% or +3.76 billion dirhams) .
– Exports from textile and leather increased by 22.2% or +7.4 billion dirhams for the first eleven months of 2022. This change is mainly attributable to the increase in sales of ready-made clothing (+23.2% or +4.8 billion dirhams), knitwear (+14.4% or +992 million dirhams) and shoes (+33.2% or +797 million dirhams).
Doubling the energy bill
The increase in imports of goods also follows the increase in purchases of all product groups, notes the Foreign Exchange Office:
– In the lead, the energy bill which has more than doubled, standing at 141.5 billion dirhams at the end of November 2022. This change is dependent on the increase in purchases of all energy products; mainly those of gas oils and fuel oils (+38.4 MMDH) driven by the rise in prices which more than doubled (10,311 DH/T against 5,093 DH/T), and to a lesser extent by that of quantities (+9.6%).
– Imports of semi-finished products increased by 49.1%, following the strong growth in purchases of ammonia : 19.3 billion dirhams against 6.3 billion dirhams.
– Imports of foodstuffs, for their part, show an increase of 48.8% or +26.3 billion dirhams to 80 billion dirhams, including 24 billion dirhams for wheat. Wheat supplies almost doubled under the price effect, up 44.5%, and imported quantities which increased by 35.6%. Barley purchases also recorded a significant increase of +2.4 billion dirhams.
– Imports of raw products increase by 54.1%. This development follows the increase in purchases of raw and unrefined sulfur (+8 billion dirhams).