Customs announced on July 5 that the French trade deficit in goods had widened to 71 billion euros over the first six months of the year, mainly due to the cost of energy imports. In June alone, the trade deficit widened by 13.3 billion euros, which represents a new monthly record.
The “record” energy bill weighed down the half-yearly figures, underlines the Ministry of Foreign Trade in a press release issued on the day of the publication of these figures and consulted by AFP. This rose from 27 billion euros in the second half of 2021 to 48 billion euros in the first six months of the year. During a press conference, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Olivier Becht, quoted by AFP, estimated that this additional cost alone explained the “very significant deterioration” of the French trade balance in the first half of the year. year.
The symbolic bar of 100 billion euros in annual deficit should logically be crossed at the end of 2022. Over twelve rolling months, France already has a trade deficit of 121.9 billion euros.
The various repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine have led to a surge in hydrocarbon prices, aggravated on the French trade balance by the recent depreciation of the euro against the dollar, which has made oil imports denominated in American currency more expensive. The ministry said in its press release that excluding energy and military equipment, France’s trade deficit was 36 billion euros, close to its level of last year.
The very large trade deficit in goods is, however, offset by a very good performance in services, which recorded a record surplus of 34 billion euros in this sector, against 23 billion in the previous half. This was driven by transport, travel and financial services.
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