Morocco: trade deficit down 7% amid tourism boom


Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office announced a 7.3% reduction in the country’s 2023 trade deficit on February 4th, according to Reuters.

The report attributed the 286bn dirhams ($28.6bn) trade deficit contraction to a drop in the kingdom’s energy imports, as-well-as greatly increased tourism revenue, exports, and remittances from Moroccans working abroad.

As domestic demand declined, the country’s overall energy imports fell by 20.4% to 122 bn dirhams.

Imports of ammoniac, a key ingredient in fertilizer production, dropped by 58% to 8.8 bn dirhams.

Wheat imports also fell, dropping 25.3% from 2023’s figures, to 19.3 bn dirhams. However, as the administration moved to subsidize and increase the importation of wheat on November 30th, the 2023 drop is not indicative of a trend.

READ: Morocco to extend wheat campaign in 2024

Morocco’s tourism revenue soared with a record breaking 14.5 million visitors in 2023, leading to a 11.7% spike of 104 bn dirhams.

A manufacturing base of auto manufacturers Stellantis and Renault, the kingdom also saw a 27% rise in auto exports to a record 141 bn dirhams.

The report added that remittances from Moroccans working abroad, key to the country’s inflow of hard currency, rose 4% to 115 bn dirhams from the previous year.

Though home to the world’s largest phosphate reserves, Morocco saw a 34% decrease in exports of the mineral and its derivatives, which include fertilizers, to 76 bn dirhams.



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