Malta has registered a large increase in imports between January and July of 2022 over the corresponding period of the previous year, which have now also outstripped the level of goods imported in 2019, the last full pre-pandemic year.
Good imported into the country during the months in question amounted to €5.13 billion, representing a 34 per cent increase, or €1.31 billion, over 2021 up to the same date.
Higher imports were mainly recorded in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€537.9 million), machinery and transport equipment (€431.4 million), food (€115.9 million), semi-manufactured goods (€74.4 million), chemicals (€70.5 million), and miscellaneous manufactured articles (€54 million).
Between January and July of 2020, imports stood at €3.27 billion, a steep decline, caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, over the €4.56 billion worth of good imported over the same period in 2019.
Exports meanwhile stand at €2.3 billion, an increase of €0.32 billion over the previous year. The total value of exported goods between January and July 2020 was €1.77 billion, and for 2019, €1.97 billion.
The main increases in exports were registered in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€189.7 million), machinery and transport equipment (€76.2 million), food (€33.3 million), and semi-manufactured goods (€27.1 million).
This means that the total value of goods imported and exported into and out of Malta so far this year is higher than the corresponding values for 2019.
These figure are not adjusted for inflation.
The trade deficit in goods has expanded significantly by around a billion euro, and currently stands at €2.83 billion, compared to a deficit of €1.83 billion by this point in 2021.
It should be noted that Malta’s reliance on imports for just about every material need means that the trade deficit in goods is structural, and compensated for by a large surplus in the export of services, primarily through tourism and professional and financial services.
Malta's labour supply and employment rate both grew by around 75% between 2005 and 2021
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