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Halloumi, pharma help narrow Jan-April trade deficit

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A small increase in exports in April, due to overseas sales of halloumi cheese and pharmaceuticals, helped narrow the trade deficit in the first four months of the year, with January-April imports down a significant 18% and exports reduced at a smaller 8% rate, according to the Cyprus statistical service Cystat.

Total imports of goods in January-April decreased 18.4% to €3,619.6 mln from €4,435.4 mln in January–April last year, while total exports of goods were €1,166.6 mln compared to €1,274.1 mln in the same four-month period in 2023, a decrease of 8.4%.

Thus, the trade deficit in January-April narrowed €2,453.0 mln from €3,161.3 mln in the corresponding period of 2023.

Total imports in April reached a provisional €1,094.1 mln compared to €915.5 mln in April 2023, an increase of 19.5%. Imports from other EU member states were €648.4 mln and from third countries €445.7 mln, compared to €573.1 mln and €342.3 mln respectively in April 2023. Imports include the transfer of economic ownership of vessels and aircraft, with total value of €155.6 mln compared to €100.3 mln in April 2023.

Total exports of goods in April were slightly increased at €351.0 mln, from €323.3 mln in the same month last year, an increase of 8.6%. Exports to other EU member states were €108.6 mln and to third countries €242.5 mln, compared to €90.2 mln and €233.1 mln respectively in April 2023.

The most popular products for export in April were halloumi cheese at €84.6 mln or 20.5% of all exports, followed by pharmaceuticals at €84.4 mln or 20.5%.

Exports of fruit and vegetable juices accounted for €11 mln or 2.7% of all, while the popular Cyprus potatoes saw exports of €9.1 mln or 2.2% of the total.

Other exports included the transfer of ownership of vessels, with a total value of €38.3 mln as compared to €122.6 mln in April 2023, while the export (re-export) of Cyprus-stored mineral fuels and oil, mainly from the Vassiliko energy hub, accounted for €112 mln or 27% o the total.

March data revised

Cystat said that according to the revised final data for March, total imports dropped 19.5% to €816.8 mln compared to €1,014.4 mln in March 2023.

Exports in March of domestically produced products, including stores and provisions, were €150.1 mln as compared to €163.4 mln in the same month last year, a decrease of 8.1%. Domestic exports of industrial products were €139.5 mln compared to €152.4 mln in March 2023, whilst domestic exports of agricultural products in March were €9.8 mln compared to €10.1 mln in March last year.

Exports in March of foreign products, including stores and provisions, were €110.9 mln as compared to €211.4 mln in March 2023, a decrease of 47.5%.