Sudan’s trade balance deficit almost tripled last year

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The trade balance deficit for the first quarter of this year stood at $1.22 billion, an increase of almost two times compared to the same period last year when the deficit was $477 million. dollars, further threatening the Sudanese economy.

According to a report by the Central Bank of Sudan, exports in the first quarter amounted to $1.39 billion and imports to $2.62 billion.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga’s Sudan Today programme, Professor of Economics at El Nilein University in Khartoum, Dr. Hasan Bashir, said that a significant increase in the trade balance deficit despite the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is an indication of the suffocating crisis in the Sudanese economy.

Dr. Bashir explained that export volumes could have been 10 times greater than current exports and pointed to the continued smuggling of large quantities of gold from the country.

He described the volume of sesame, groundnut and cotton exports as “modest” due to problems in the agricultural season. “This year would have been the year of the start of the Sudanese economy before the country entered the current global crisis which affects all walks of life,” he said.

Financial aid suspended

Prior to the coup, the government of former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok had succeeded in clearing Sudan’s debt arrears and securing funding from the international community.

Billions in international aid, however, were suspended when the putschists under the leadership of Lieutenant General Abdelfattah El Burhan seized power in the October 25 military coup. The value of the Sudanese pound fell further and the economy declined.

El Burhan went on a regional tour in March, hoping to secure funding from Gulf countries and Russia as Western donors suspended financial support. He disappointed income as the UAE and other allies failed to provide significant funding.

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