Malta registered a trade deficit of €253.3 million in June, compared to €357.4 million in the same month last year, according to preliminary figures published by the National Statistics Office.

Imports declined by €80.5 million while exports registered an increase of €23.5 million. The decrease in the value of imports was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. These also accounted for the main increase in exports.

In the first six months this year, the trade deficit widened by €459.9 million, to €1,449.9 million when compared to the same period last year.

Imports increased by €269.7 million, while exports registered a decline of €190.2 million.

Malta’s trade imports from the European Union reached €1,806.3 million, or 56.4 per cent of the total. There was an increase of €272.1 million in imports from euro area countries when compared to the same period last year. Main increases and decreases in imports were registered from the Netherlands (€239.8 million) and the United States of America (€177.7 million) respectively.

On the export side the main increase was directed to China (€18.1 million), whereas Libya (€80 million) registered the highest drop.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that the positive performance in the external sector reflected the increase in local industries’ competitiveness underpinned by reduced production costs especially energy costs, and an environment conducive of investment.

The figures also confirmed an increase in imports of investment goods, amounting to over €672 million for the first half of this year.

This reflected the persistent increase in investment which raised and sustained Malta’s economic growth in the recent years, he said.

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