WASHINGTON: Malta’s trade deficit doubled in May reaching €501.5 million compared to €249.8 million in the corresponding month of 2016. The National Statistics Office said imports increased by €120.3 million while exports dropped €131.3 million. The increase in the value of imports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment (€135.5 million). On the exports side, mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€82.8 million) and chemicals (€77.6 million) accounted for the main decrease.
During the first five months this year, the trade deficit widened by €152.4 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2016, reaching €1,560.7 million. Both imports and exports decreased, by €194.3 million and €346.7 million respectively. Lower imports were mainly Lower imports were mainly due to machinery and transport equipment, which decreased by €399.5 million. This was partly outweighed by an increase of €228.4 million in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. On the exports side, the main decreases were registered in chemicals (€239.6 million) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€134.1 million).
Malta’s trade imports from the European Union reached €1,342.4 million, or 50.3 per cent of total imports. There was an increase of €102.1 million in imports from euro area countries when compared to the same period of 2016. Main increases and decreases in imports were registered from the United Kingdom (€60.8 million) and Canada (€190.4 million) respectively. The main increase in exports was directed to Switzerland (€7.2 million), whereas the United States of America (€221.5 million) registered the highest decrease.