Malta registered a decrease in both imports and exports between January and March this year, according to data released by the National Statistics Office. Figures show a total value of €1.4 billion in imported goods and €827 million in exported goods over the three-month period, narrowing the trade deficit to approximately €628 million compared with the first quarter in 2019.
Nearly half of total imports came from the European Union, reaching €714.7 million or a four percent decrease over a year. The biggest drop in imports came from the United Kingdom which was the biggest exporter to Malta in 2019; incoming goods fell by more than four-fifths to €121 million. The main increase in imports was registered from China, jumping by 150 percent to reach €147 million in 2020.
Exports to EU countries accounted for 40 percent of total outgoing goods, with a value of €324 million. The main decrease was registered by Italy, falling by nearly 60 percent from last year to reach €32.8 million. The highest increase was directed to Germany, with outwards trade growing by €32.5 million. In fact, trade in goods with Germany went from a €3.8 million deficit in the first quarter of 2019 to a surplus of almost €52 million this year.
Malta also registered a trade surplus with Singapore (€35 million), Japan (€19 million) and the United States (€11 million).
A decrease of €502 million in imported machinery and transport equipment was the main contributor to the general decline in the value of imports, whereas a €63.8 million fall in dispatched mineral fuel propelled the decrease in exports.