Morocco’s commercial transactions with the rest of the world, after four uninterrupted years of growth, totaled 685.1 billion dirhams (billion dirhams) in 2020 against 775.4 billion dirhams in 2019, i.e. a drop of 11.7% below the effect of the pandemic of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), indicates the Foreign Exchange Office. This decrease nevertheless remains lower than that recorded in 2009 following the global financial crisis (-21.7% or -104.8 billion dirhams), states the Foreign Exchange Office in its annual report on foreign trade under the fiscal year 2020.
Merchandise imports fell 14% in 2020 compared to 2019, while exports declined, but to a lesser extent, -7.6%, notes the same source. The decline in commercial transactions was however accompanied by an improvement in the trade balance, underlines the Foreign Exchange Office, specifying that the trade deficit stood at MAD 159.5 billion, down 22.8% compared to 2019. Concerning the coverage rate of imports by exports, it improved to 62.2%, while the penetration rate of imports measured by the ratio between imports and internal demand (GDP + imports-exports ) lost 1.9 points to 34.3%.
The said report also shows that the export effort, measured by the ratio between exports and GDP, remains relatively stable at 24.5%. The dependency ratio, which represents the average of imports and exports, compared to GDP, fell by 1.7 points, from 33.7% in 2019 to 32% in 2020.
With the exception of energy and food products, the rate of coverage of imports by exports improved for all product groups. The coverage rate of the trade balance of semi-finished products increased by 7.3 points, and stood at 62.9% in 2020. Exports of semi-finished products remain relatively stable while its imports have fallen by 10.9% . From 87.1% in 2019 to 93.4% in 2020, the rate of coverage of imports of raw products by their exports has increased by 6.3 points.
That of consumer goods improved to 78.9% in 2020. Similarly, capital goods recorded an import coverage rate by exports of 48.3% in 2020, up 0.5 point compared to 2019. These developments are due to a drop in imports greater than that in exports.
As for food products, their coverage rate fell by 15.7 points, attributable to an increase in imports combined with stable exports. The coverage rate for energy products also fell, following a fall in imports that was more important than that in exports. The coverage rate was 2.6% in 2020 instead of 5.6% in 2019.