Rabat: Morocco's trade deficit widened 8 per cent to 118.3 billion dirhams ($12.4 billion) in the first seven months of 2018 compared with the same period last year, the foreign exchange regulator said on Thursday.
Imports increased 9.8 per cent to 278.3 billion dirhams in January through July, outstripping an 11.2 per cent rise in exports which reached 160.0 billion dirhams.
Equipment imports rose 12.1 per cent to 68.7 billion dirhams, finished consumer goods increased 7.2 per cent to 62.3 billion and semi-finished goods rose 4.4 per cent to 58.8 billion.
There was a surge in energy imports by 16.8 per cent to 45.6 billion dirhams and a 7.5 per cent rise in food imports to 28.6 billion.
The automotive sector continued to top Morocco’s exports with a rise of 16.9 per cent to 38.5 billion dirhams, followed by agriculture and agri-food exports with an increase of 5 per cent to 34.5 billion.
Exports of phosphates and derivatives were up 15.1 per cent to 29.2 billion dirhams.
Aeronautical sector exports posted a 19.8 per cent increase to 7.1 billion dirhams and electronics exports grew 4.7 per cent to 5.6 billion.
Tourism receipts surged 9.3 per cent to 38.3 billion dirhams, while remittances from Moroccans living abroad rose 5.3 per cent to 37.6 billion.
Foreign direct investments plummeted 25.6 per cent to 12.6 billion dirhams.