News Releases

International Trade in Goods: January 2023
Data tal-Ħruġ: 10 March 2023
Cut Off Date: 01 March 2023
Provisional figures for registered trade in goods in Malta recorded a deficit of €250.5 million during January 2023, compared to a deficit of €173.0 million in the corresponding month of 2022.

Total Trade in Goods: January 2023

Data in this news release presents all international trade in goods registered up to the indicated cut-off date. Provisional data recorded a total trade in goods deficit of €250.5 million during January, compared to a deficit of €173.0 million in the corresponding month of 2022. Imports amounted to €625.0 million, while exports totalled €374.5 million. This represents an increase of €76.4 million in imports and a decline of €1.1 million in exports over the same month of the previous year (Table 1). The rise in the value of imports was primarily due to Machinery and transport equipment (€74.1 million). On the exports side, the main decreases were registered in Food (€17.1 million), and Chemicals (€15.4 million), partly offset by an increase in Machinery and transport equipment (€30.1 million) (Table 3).

Chart 1. International Trade in Goods: Monthly

in € million

No Data Found

Goods were imported mainly from the European Union (44.7 per cent) and Asia (22.2 per cent). Similarly, exports were mostly directed to the European Union (33.0 per cent) and Asia (14.9 per cent). The main increase and decrease in imports were registered from Algeria (€36.2 million) and Italy (€39.3 million), respectively. With respect to exports, the main increase was directed to Germany (€36.4 million), whereas Japan reported the highest decrease (€18.5 million) (Table 4).

Trade in Goods excluding specific chapters1: January 2023

In January, the deficit of trade in goods excluding specific chapters amounted to €151.2 million, compared to a deficit of €121.9 million recorded in the same month of 2022. Imports and exports amounted to €388.6 million and €237.3 million, respectively, thus increasing by 9.0 per cent and 1.2 per cent over the corresponding month of the previous year (Table 1).

Chart 2. Trade in Goods excluding specific chapters1 - monthly

€ thousand

No Data Found

Chart 3. Percentage change of Trade in Goods

Over the corresponding month of the previous year

No Data Found

Chart 4. Percentage distribution of total Trade in Goods by major commodity group

January 2023

No Data Found

Chart 5. Percentage distribution of Trade in Goods excluding specific chapters1 by continent/region

January 2023

No Data Found

1 Data excluding Mineral oils, fuels and products (Chapter 27), Aircrafts/spacecrafts and parts thereof (Chapter 88) and Ships, boats and floating structures (Chapter 89). See methodological note 8.

Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Additional Tables and Charts

Methodological Notes

1. Figures presented in this news release are based on register data available as at the cut-off date printed on the front page of this release. These are provisional figures based on information provided by traders and customs declarations on a monthly basis. Regular revisions to monthly and annual trade data may be carried out on a regular basis or as deemed necessary. No estimations are included in these figures to compensate for late or non-response by traders or late documentation of customs declarations.
2. Data in this release are based on:
  • The Intrastat Supplementary Declaration that traders in merchandise goods must submit in respect of arrivals (imports) and dispatches (exports) of goods from and to the Member States of the European Union (EU) in compliance with Legal Notice 131 of 2004, and
  • The Customs Declarations for imports from and exports to countries that are not Member States of the EU.
3. The Intrastat Supplementary Declaration for the collection of data on trade in goods between the Member States of the EU replaced the Customs Declaration as from 1 May 2004. The requirements of the Supplementary Declaration, which at EU level were introduced as from 1 January 1993, are similar in all the Member States of the EU.
4. As from May 2004, with the introduction of the Intrastat Supplementary Declaration as the source document for trade statistics, it was no longer possible to disaggregate total exports into domestic exports and re-exports. 
5. The ‘Balance of Trade’ is the difference between a country’s exports and imports. A country has a trade deficit if it imports more than it exports; the opposite scenario signifies a trade surplus.
6. National concepts differ from the harmonised methodology used by Eurostat, leading to differences between figures in this release and those published by Eurostat. Malta uses the “General Trade” system for dissemination purposes in line with UN recommendations. On the other hand, monthly data sent to Eurostat for both Intra-EU and Extra-EU are compiled according to the “Special Trade” methodology. A more detailed explanation of these two concepts can be found in the “Statistical Concepts” link below (see point 14).
7. i. Up to 31 December 2014, the euro area (Trading Partners) included Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia (from 2014), Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. From 1 January 2015, the euro area also includes Lithuania. Trade data for Lithuania is included with the euro area data as from reference month January 2015.
ii. The EU (Trading Partners) include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia (from July 2013), Cyprus, Czech Republic (Czechia), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. As of 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU. The transition period that was in place – during which nothing changed – ended on 31 December 2020.
For reference periods February 2020 onwards, monthly news releases having a country breakdown will carry EU data excluding the United Kingdom. Users are advised to use data with caution when making comparisons since this will result in discrepancies, unless United Kingdom information is removed from previous figures.
iii. As from 1 January 2021, following the Withdrawal Agreement (Brexit) between the United Kingdom and the EU, Northern Ireland is to be considered as part of the EU for International Trade purposes.
iv. EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries comprise Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
8. As from the publication relating to the January 2021 reference period, the format of the news release changed. The main enhancement was the reporting of statistics which exclude specific chapters, namely Mineral fuels, oils and products (Chapter 27), Aircrafts/spacecrafts and parts thereof (Chapter 88) and Ships, boats and floating structures (Chapter 89). These are categories which are dominated by one-off transactions that could weigh heavily on the overall headline figures. Therefore, while the official figures remain those for total trade, data excluding these specific chapters is, in many cases, more suitable to analyse underlying economic trends.
9. In January 2022, the Office launched an exercise aimed at enhancing the coverage, and thus reliability, of trade in goods data. This involved using an administrative source, in particular VAT data, to crosscheck existing data. Contact was made with traders, reminding them of their legal obligation to record intra-EU trade in the Intrastat system, which is resulting in the narrowing of data gaps. To provide users with consistent time series data, whenever possible, data extending back to 2013 is being requested. This process, which is still ongoing, is likely to lead to larger revisions than usual in the short term.
10. As from the reference period January 2021, data in Table 3 is based on the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) Rev.4. 
11. As from the reference period January 2021, the Caribbean and the Bahamas Islands are included under North and Central America.
12. The percentage change for the Balance of Trade between the current month (y) and the corresponding month of the previous year (x), is worked using the formula ((y-x)/abs(x))*100. A negative percentage change in the Balance of Trade means that it has widened (deteriorated), while a positive percentage change means that the Balance of Trade has narrowed (improved).
13. More detailed and disaggregated data not appearing in this release is available in the excel version of this release or upon request from the NSO. 
14. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:
15. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
16. Statistics in this news release should be interpreted in the context of the COVID-19 situation.
17. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
18. For more information on International Trade in Goods visit the International Trade section on the website.
International Trade in Goods: January 2023
Data tal-Ħruġ: 10 March 2023
Cut Off Date: 01 March 2023
  • In January 2023 Malta registered a trade deficit of €250.5m.
  • For January 2023, Imports increased by €76.4m and Exports decreased by €1.1m.
  • In January 2023, Malta’s trade imports from the EU reached €279.4m (44.7% of total imports).
  • Imports (January 2023) – main increase from Algeria €36.2m and main decrease from Italy €39.3m.
  • Exports (January 2023) – main increase to the Germany €36.4m and main decrease to Japan €18.5m.
Kalkulatur tal-Inflazzjoni Kalendarju tal-Istqarrijiet tal-Aħbarijiet Talbiet għat-Tagħrif Mistoqsijiet dwar il-Kodiċi tan-NACE
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