Provisional data published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) for international trade show that the trade deficit in March stood at €200.8 million, up by €38.2 million when compared to the corresponding month of 2017. Both imports and exports decreased by €22.1 million and €60.3 million respectively. The decrease in the value of imports was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€78.3 million), and was partly outweighed by an increase of €70.9 million in machinery and transport equipment. The main decreases in the value of exports were registered in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€45.6 million) and machinery and transport equipment (€16.9 million).
During the first three months this year, the trade deficit narrowed by €11.4 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2017, reaching €596.8 million. Both imports and exports show decreases of €90.3 million and €78.9 million respectively. Lower imports were mainly in machinery and transport equipment (€59.9 million) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€45.9 million). With regard to exports, the main decrease was registered in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€106.7 million), which was partly outweighed by an increase of Є21.0 million in semi-manufactured goods.
Malta’s trade imports from the European Union reached €905.3 million, or 67.3 per cent of total imports. There was an increase of €114.3 million in imports from euro area countries when compared to the same period of 2017. Main increases and decreases in imports were registered from the United Kingdom (€81.4 million) and Canada (€101.2 million) respectively. The main increase in exports was directed to Japan (€27.9 million), whereas Egypt (€19.1 million) registered the highest decrease.