By Nihal Mounir
Over the previous month, exports declined by 22% with a value of EGP 10.3 billion down from EGP 13.16 billion in June 2011.
The total value of Egyptian exports in the first half of the current year was EGP 65.64 billion, a 4% decline from the same period in the previous year which saw EGP 68.5 billion in exports.
During the first half of the current year, exports reached 82% of the targeted level, reaching 42% of the EGP 160 billion target for all of 2012. The targets are part of a plan by the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade to raise the value of exports to EGP 200 billion by the end of 2013.
Four sectors saw a rise in the value of exports; chemical exportation rose by EGP 927 million while pharmaceuticals saw an increase EGP 152 million. Books and handicrafts exports increased by EGP 117 million, up from EGP 47 million in the first half of 2011, while the exports of wood increased by EGP 73 million.
On the other hand, eight sectors witnessed sharp declines in the value of exports. Construction material exports fell by EGP 1.748 billion, and currently stand at EGP 15.133 billion.
Agricultural exports declined by EGP 1.4 billion to EGP 6.481 billion, textiles dropped by EGP 459 million to stand at EGP 2.441billion, while clothing products fell by EGP 407 million.
Food products declined by EGP 381million, dropping to EGP 8.778 billion. Leather products fell by EGP 324 million making the current value EGP 404 million.
Industrial engineering products and furniture exports also fell, declining by EGP 267 million and EGP 19 million respectively.
Abdel Ghany El-Abaseery, a member of the Ready Made Garments Export Council, predicted that exports would continue to decline due to of the political and economic uncertainty currently facing Egypt, especially in light of the recent Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement, as well as the alarming political developments that impede investment prospects.
In addition the disturbances in Syria and Sudan have led to a decrease in Egyptian exports to those countries.
The Libyan market recovered somewhat, importing EGP 4.448billon worth of Egyptian products this June, up from EGP 1.301billion in June 2011.