Jordan’s trade deficit increased by JD 510 million or 10.5% during the first half of 2014, compared to the same time period in 2013. The trade deficit stands at JD 5,356.3 million for the first half of 2014, compared to JD 4,846.8 million for the same time period in 2013.
Both exports and imports grew over the same time period, as exports grew by 6.8% while imports grew at a faster pace of 9.2%.
Total exports grew to JD 2,946.2 million during the first half of the year, from JD 2,758.4 million for the time period in 2013, driven by fertilizers (up 46.7%) and fruits and vegetables (up 38.6%), while exports of phosphates and potash continued to decline. Meanwhile, imports grew to reach JD 8,302.5 million from JD 7,605.2 million for the same time period, due to an increase in machinery and machinery equipment imports by 18.1%, and vehicles and motorcycles imports grew by 22.3%.
Crude oil imports, which make up more than one quarter of total imports, increased by 27.3% to reach JD 2,264.8 million from JD 1,779.6 million over the time periods, which could indicate lower levels of Egyptian gas inflows from Egypt for the month of June.
If the Egyptian gas supplies remain inconsistent, it is anticipated that the oil bill will reverse the 2013 trend and instead grow in 2014. In addition, and with the continuous influx of Syrian refugees, it is expected that the trade deficit will remain at high levels witnessed in 2013.