Egypt’s trade deficit narrowed by 12.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) in June, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Monday.
The monthly bulletin revealed that the value of the trade balance deficit reached 3.21 billion dollars in June, against 3.66 billion dollars for the same month of the previous year.
The country’s exports fell 3.3% year-on-year in June to $3.75, from $3.88 billion in the same month a year earlier.
The value of imports also fell 7.7% to $6.96 billion in June 2022 from $7.54 billion in June 2021.
Meanwhile, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, Heike Harmgart, said the bank will help finance the dismantling of 5 GW of power plants in inefficient gases in Egypt from 2023 while promising up to $1. billion for renewable energy.
EBRD would raise up to $300 million in sovereign financing for projects including Egyptian grid stabilization works, addition of storage batteries, local renewable energy supply chain development and conversion workers, added Harmgart.
She explained that a separate $1 billion pledged for renewables would be about a tenth of the private financing needed for 10 GW of mainly wind-powered projects planned by the government by 2028.
Egypt is a natural gas producer trying to reduce domestic consumption so it can export more to Europe at a time of high prices and demand resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It has a surplus of electricity after the installation of three huge gas-fired power plants built by Siemens from 2015.
The government hopes gas exports can help contain pressure on Cairo’s currency after the war in Ukraine triggered the latest drop in dollar inflows from portfolio investment and tourism.
The role of gas is expected to be a point of contention at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt in November.
Climate activists say there should be a rapid transition away from gas. As host of COP27, Egypt gives voice to some African states that wish to continue using gas as a transition fuel to develop their economies.
About 3 GW of the planned 10 GW of new renewable energy would be made available for a pilot phase of green hydrogen production in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna port on the Red Sea, Harmgart said.
Some would go to replacing the capacity lost by the dismantling of thermal power plants.
Egypt has announced a series of MoUs for green hydrogen and ammonia projects in Ain Sokhna.