December 22, 2015 / 10:56 AM / 3 years ago

Morocco's January to November trade deficit drops 19.7 pct

RABAT, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Morocco’s trade deficit fell 19.7 percent to 140.02 billion dirhams ($14.22 billion) in the first 11 months of 2015 compared with a year earlier, thanks to lower energy costs and higher exports, the foreign exchange regulator said on Tuesday.

Energy imports fell by 29 percent from a year earlier to 61.69 billion dirhams, data showed.

Wheat imports also fell 32 percent as the local harvest hit a record high this year.

Total imports fell 6 percent and total exports rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 195.29 billion dirhams, led by a 18.5 percent rise in auto exports and 20.6 percent hike in phosphate sales.

Tourism receipts dropped 0.9 percent to 54.66 billion dirhams, while remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans living abroad rose 3.6 percent to 56.68 billion dirhams.

Foreign direct investment jumped 6.8 percent to 33.96 billion dirhams. Figures are in billions of dirhams:

Jan-Nov Jan-Nov Jan-Oct

2015 2014 2015 EXPORTS 195.29 182.37 177.27 IMPORTS 335.32 356.76 305.91 BALANCE -140.02 -174.39 -128.64 MIGRANT REMITTANCES 56.68 54.71 52.52 TOURISM RECEIPTS 54.66 55.18 50.90 FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT 33.96 31.80 29.20

$1 = 9.8489 Moroccan dirham Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Louise Ireland

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