Egypt Indicators Show Recovery Is Gathering Pace

Tourism in Egypt is picking up, Suez Canal receipts hit a three-and-a-half-year high of $503mn in May while FDI and remittances are also on the up. This helped Egypt cut its current account deficit by 45% year-on-year for Q1 2018, although it’s still at $1.9bn.

Key pillars of the Egyptian economy are looking firmer than they have for some time. The country’s current account deficit fell to $5.3bn for the first nine months of the 2017-18 financial year (ie 3Q17-1Q18), down 58% from $12.5bn a year earlier, though the country’s quarterly trade deficit remains stuck at around $9bn (see table).

Egypt’s 2017 import bill came to $59.6bn, of which $12.4bn or 21% was oil and gas. Cairo will be aiming to reduce that this year with its 21.5tcf Zohr gas field coming online in December 2017; it hopes to end LNG imports in Q4 of this year. Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla says Egyptian gas output should reach a record 6.5bn cfd in September this year with Zohr ramping up. The recent award of a tender to supply Egypt with six LNG cargoes for delivery over the next two months may well be the last of its kind ( MEES, 29 June ).


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