Imports from UK to Malta down 70 pct in 2020: official figures

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VALLETTA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Malta's imports from the UK, its main import partner, dropped by 1 billion euros in 2020, a staggering 70 percent decline year-on-year, official figures released on Tuesday show.

Imports from the UK in 2020 amounted to just 397 million euros, drastically down from the around 1.4 billion euros worth of goods it imported from Britain in 2019, according to figures issued by Malta's National Statistics Office (NSO).

Malta's imports and exports in 2020 decreased by 2.1 billion euros and 676 million euros, respectively. Figures show that Malta ended 2020 with a trade deficit of just under 2.2 billion euros - a decrease of 1.5 billion euros year-on-year.

But trade in Malta recorded a deficit of 101.5 million euros in December last year, more than double the 37.7-million-euro deficit recorded in the same month the previous year.

The NSO said lower imports were mainly recorded in machinery and transport equipment (1.3 billion euros) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (657 million euros). With regard to exports, mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials dropped by 457 million euros, exports of machinery and transport equipment went down by 109 million euros while exports of food products declined by 52 million.

Imports from the European Union (EU) reached just over 2.8 billion euros, a drop of 527 million euros from 2019. Imports from the EU accounted for 53.3 percent of Malta's total imports. The single largest growth in imports was from Algeria, up by 103 million euros in 2020.

According to the NSO, the main increase in exports was directed to China, amounting to 4.6 million euros whereas Italy registered the highest decrease of 120 million euros. (1 euro = 1.21 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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