Total exports for the first quarter of 2019 including domestic exports, re-exports and excluding ship’s stores and bunkers amounted to Rs 16.4 billion, 9% more compared to the corresponding quarter of 2018.
Domestic exports amounting to Rs 12.5 billion, accounted for 76.2% of total exports in the first quarter of 2019, representing a drop of 2% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. While comparison against the corresponding quarter of 2018, domestic exports has increased by 11%.
Analysis by exports destination for the first quarter of 2019 showed that the European countries remained our main markets, importing more than 46% of our total exports. The major destinations were UK (12.1%), USA (11.5%), France (10.6%), South Africa (9.0%), Madagascar (7.1%), Italy (4.7%) and Netherlands (4.5%). Compared to the corresponding quarter 2018, exports to Madagascar, USA, Netherlands, France and UK have increased by 34.6%, 32.4%, 26.9%, 3.3% and 2.6% respectively. While on the other hand, exports to Spain, Italy and South Africa have dropped.
Analysis by regional trade agreements for the first quarter 2019 showed that total exports to COMESA accounted to Rs 2.1 billion representing an increase of 31% when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2018. The major destinations were Madagascar with a share of 54% of our total exports to COMESA, followed by Kenya and Seychelles. Total exports to SADC amounted to Rs 3.0 billion in the first quarter of 2019 with the main export destinations being South Africa, Madagascar and Seychelles.
Total imports for the first quarter of 2019 amounted to Rs 46.2 billion, showing an increase of 18.2% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2018. During the first quarter of 2019, Asia was our main supplier with a share of 52.2% of our total imports, mainly originating from India (18.2%) and China (16.2%). The other major suppliers were South Africa (9.1%) and France (8.3%). While comparison against the corresponding quarter of 2018, imports from China, India, France and South Africa has increased by 38.3%, 25.0%, 11.5% and 0.4% respectively.
Based on recent past trends and information from various sources, Statistics Mauritius has forecasted total exports for 2019 at around Rs 83 billion and imports at Rs 212 billion (including one-off items such as aircraft, wind turbines and metro trains). The trade deficit for 2019 is forecasted at Rs 129 billion compared to Rs 112 billion in 2018.
The full report can be downloaded from the website of Statistics Mauritius here.