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Imports drop in March, increase in first quarter

Date: 15/05/2012

A decrease in imports of €22.4 million was registered in March while exports registered an increase of €19.8 million, according to preliminary figures published by the National Statistics Office.

The NSO said in a statement that imports dropped from €408.9 million in March last year to €386.5 million in the same month this year.

The decrease in imports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment, with other significant decreases registered for semi-manufactured goods, miscellaneous manufactured articles, food and chemicals.

Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials accounted for the main increase in exports when compared to the same month last year. Other increases were recorded in food, beverages and tobacco, and miscellaneous manufactured articles.

But imports between January and March this year were higher than in the same period last year, reaching €1,270.2 million against last year's €1,167.3 million.

The increase in imports of €102.9 million was mainly due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, with other increases recorded in beverages and tobacco, and crude materials.

The rise in exports of €248.3 million was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. Other increases were noted in miscellaneous manufactured articles, food, and beverages and tobacco.

The NSO said that the visible trade gap in March narrowed by €42.2 million.

January-March 2012. In the first quarter, the visible trade gap narrowed by €145.5 million, to stand at €257.7 million.

The bulk of Malta's trade flows and consequent trade deficit continued to be directed towards the European Union. Increases were registered in imports from Italy, Greece and Belgium, while there were decreases from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Exports to the euro area went up, mainly to Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Other increases in exports were recorded for Turkey (mainly fuels), and Libya.


Source: Times of Malta

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