PORT LOUIS – Mauritius’ trade deficit narrowed by 1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year to 16.27 billion rupees ($462.87 million) on the back of lower import prices, official data showed on Friday.
Statistics Mauritius said the price of imports fell 4 percent to 37.43 billion rupees after the cost of mineral fuels and lubricants dropped by 26 percent to 4.67 billion.
Exports declined 6 percent to 21.15 billion rupees, as the re-export of telecommunications equipment and accessories fell to 1.68 billion rupees from 3.99 billion, the statistics agency of the Indian Ocean said in a statement.
The agency said based on recent trends and information from various sources, total exports for 2016 are forecast to be 95 billion rupees against imports of 171 billion.
“Consequently, the trade deficit is expected to be around 76 billion rupees,” the agency said.
Britain was the main buyer of Mauritius’ goods in the period, accounting for 13 percent. China was the main supplier with 17 percent of the island’s total imports.
($1 = 35.1500 Mauritius rupees)(Reuters)