The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced Wednesday that the Balance of Payments (BOP) registered a deficit of approximately $3.7bn in the first quarter (Q1) of this fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016 compared to a surplus of approximately $410m during the same period in FY 2014/2015.
BOP addresses Egypt’s economic transactions with the international market. CBE said in a statement on its website that the increase of the BOP deficit is ascribed to the increase in the current account deficit to $4bn compared to $1.6bn.
The trade balance represents the difference between the exports and imports; the balance of services addresses the country’s receipts coming from the services such as tourism and transport, while the balance of goods and services includes aids and grants.
CBE said the trade balance registered a deficit of approximately $10bn, the same level in the first quarter in FY 2014/2015, attributing the deficit partly to the decrease in the global prices of oil and other basic commodities.
Merchandise export proceeds decreased by about 26.5%, stopping at approximately $4.6bn compared to approximately $6.3bn in the same quarter in the last FY. That decline came as a result of the decrease in the proceeds of oil exports, crude oil and petroleum products, by approximately $1.2bn after the 51.4% decrease in the global prices of oil during the comparison period.
CBE said the decline in the proceeds of oil exports came despite the increase of the exported amounts of crude oil, which represents 71.3% of the oil exports’ proceeds and 24.2% of the merchandise exports’ proceeds.
Proceeds from non-oil exports registered a retreat of approximately $487.5m, amounting to $3.1bn compared to $3.6bn.
CBE said the retreat of the import payments by 10.4%, registering $14.6bn compared to $16.3bn, contributed to preventing the worsening of the trade deficit. It attributed the retreat of import payments to the retreat in oil imports by about $1.2bn and non-oil imports by $500.3m.
The surplus in the balance of services retreated by about 22.6%, registering about $1.7bn compared to a surplus of $2.2bn. The receipts of the Suez Canal retreated from $1.475bn in the first quarter of FY 2014/2015 to $1.366bn in the first quarter of the current FY 2015/2016, according to CBE.