(Jordan Times ) – Jordan's trade deficit increased in the first four months of this year, which economists say could affect the Kingdom's current record high level of foreign reserves.
The June bulletin of the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) also shows that Iraq maintained its position as the Kingdom's major trade partner in the period, despite first-quarter reports of declining trade between Amman and Baghdad.
The bulletin indicates that the trade deficit climbed to JD505.3 million in the first-third of this year, compared to JD421.4 million in the corresponding period of 1999.
The bulletin, which was made available to the Jordan Times, shows that imports in the first four months amounted to JD824.3 million compared to JD719 million in the corresponding period of 1999, while exports rose to JD319 million from JD297.6 million in the corresponding period of 1999.
The bulletin did not give reasons for the increase in the Kingdom's exports.
The bulletin further shows that exports to Arab countries in the first four months amounted to JD129.5 million, with Jordan's exports to Saudi Arabia ranking first at JD32.7 million.
Meanwhile, says the bulletin, the Kingdom's exports to Asian countries in the period amounted to JD109 million.
Jordan's exports to Israel doubled this year, reaching JD16 million compared to JD8.4 million in the same period of 1999.
Jordan's imports from Arab states amounted to JD228.7 million, with Iraq ranking first with goods worth JD158.9 million, mostly oil and oil derivatives, followed by Saudi Arabia with JD26 million.
The Kingdom's imports from European Union countries amounted to JD266.3 million, with Germany ranking first at JD77 million.
Jordan's imports from the US amounted to JD81.2 million in the period, while the share of Asian countries amounted to JD163.5 million, the bulletin says.
By Tareq Ayyoub
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )