RABAT – Morocco’s trade deficit widened 35.8 percent to 40.23 billion dirhams ($4.14 billion) in the first four months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, driven by increased imports, the foreign exchange regulator said on Saturday.
The trade gap was up from 29.62 billion dirhams during the same period last year, as spending on equipment imports rose 10.9 percent to 40.4 billion dirhams, and energy imports rose 47.8 percent to 22.66 billion dirhams.
Wheat imports fell 10.2 percent from a year earlier to 5.34 billion dirhams as a higher rainfall improved the harvest.
Total exports rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 114.9 billion dirhams, pushed by a 11.5 percent rise in phosphate exports totaling 14.2 billion dirhams.
Tourism receipts fell by 4.7 percent. Remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans who live abroad fell 3.2 percent to 18.51 billion dirhams, while foreign direct investment rose 4.5 percent to 7.79 billion dirhams