Energy prices will reduce the French trade deficit to 71 billion euros in the first half of 2022
The rise in energy prices in the first half of the year, which pushed up inflation and complicated the end of the month, also worsened France’s trade balance. The latter recorded a 26% increase in its imports, inflated by the rise in oil and gas prices, in the first six months of 2022 compared to the second half of 2019. They reached a total of 356 billion euros as of Friday, August 5, of 2020, according to published figures the General Customs Directorate and the Banque de France.
Although in a recovery phase since the 2020 bottom, the increase in exports, which do not benefit from the same “price effect”, does not offset these additional costs. They grew by 13%, twice less than imports, to 285 billion euros. So much so that the goods trade deficit is 71 billion euros in a half-year, up from 51 billion in the second half of 2021 and 84 billion for all of last year.
The increase in energy prices alone increases the deficit by more than twenty billion. In fact, the energy bill increased from 27 billion euros in the second half of 2021 to 48 billion euros in the first half of 2022. But, according to the executive, France is not the only country suffering from this side effect of rising energy prices. “In a world very turbulent since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, France is experiencing the same fate as the main countries of the European Union”argues Olivier Becht, ministerial delegate to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, responsible for foreign trade, attractiveness and French expatriates. “All have seen their trade balances deteriorate since early 2022 due to the explosion in energy prices. »
The ministry prefers to highlight the resilience of certain export sectors and the renewed dynamism of the tricolor trade after the slump due to Covid-19. Without energy and military equipment, he argues, the trade balance would improve ” easy “. Some sectors have seen strong export growth since the end of 2019, including food (+25%), textiles (+26%), cosmetics and perfumes (+22%).
However, the two drivers of French exports are lagging behind: aeronautics, still a good third less than before the crisis (–34%), and to a lesser extent the automotive industry (–8%). Another notable development, and perhaps a sign of a realignment of value chains on a global scale, is that the country’s European partners and customers are the main contributors to the rise in its exports.
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