The visible trade gap widened by €39.2 million in May when compared to the same month in 2011, according to provisional data published today by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
The NSO said the visible trade gap in May stood at €256.6 million and increases were registered in imports and exports of €151.0 million and €111.8 million.
The increase in imports was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, with other increases registered for machinery and transport equipment, beverages and tobacco, food, miscellaneous manufactured articles, and animal and vegetable oils and fats.
Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials accounted for the main increase in exports when compared to the corresponding month in 2011. Other increases were recorded in machinery and transport equipment, miscellaneous manufactured articles, chemicals, semi-manufactured goods, beverages and tobacco, and crude materials.
In the first five months this year, the visible trade gap narrowed by €186.9 million, to stand at €644.6 million. The increase in imports of €206.1 million was mainly due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, with an increase being registered also for beverages and tobacco.
The rise in exports of €393.0 million was primarily due to mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. Other increases were noted in miscellaneous manufactured articles, semi-manufactured goods, beverages and tobacco, and crude materials.
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, the Netherlands and Belgium, while there were decreases from France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany. Exports to the euro area went up, mainly to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Spain. Other increases in exports were recorded for Turkey (mainly fuels), Libya, the United States of America, and Taiwan.