Kampala: Uganda's trade deficit rose by 14 percent in June from the previous month, driven up by imports, amid falling commodity exports due to the euro area crisis, the central bank said. Neighbouring Tanzania also said its current account deficit nearly doubled in the year to June following a surge in oil imports for power generation.
The deficit in Tanzania widened by 90.2 percent to $4.296 billion from $2.258 billion a year ago, largely due to a rise in demand for oil and higher prices on the world market.
On the other hand, Uganda's trade deficit climbed to $252 million in June, from $221 million in May, its central bank said in a report seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
It said that the country's balance of payments position is expected to worsen in the months ahead as the Euro Zone crisis curbs remittances, foreign direct investment and earnings from exports of commodities. The euro area is the main buyer of Uganda's fish, flowers and coffee exports. It is also host to a number of Ugandan immigrants who usually send money back home.
Tanzania said its total imports bill rose by 29.6 percent to $12.958 billion, while exports increased by 13.3 percent to $7.99 billion from a year ago. "There was also a substantial increase in imports of machinery and equipment for gas and oil exploration," said the central bank.
Earnings from gold exports and the tourism sector went up during the period, the central bank said.
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