Mauritius exporters see Brexit crimping textile export earnings to UK by 10%

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PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – Revenues generated by Mauritius from textile exports to Britain will decline by about 10 percent this year as a result of the British vote to leave the European Union, the country’s export association said on Monday.

The EU is Mauritius’ largest trading partner. The Indian Ocean island nation earns an annual average of 25.55 billion rupees ($722.77 million) from goods shipments to the bloc.

Britain remains the largest buyer of Mauritian goods within the EU, accounting for 18 percent of total exports to the bloc. Textiles are Mauritius’ top export to the UK, followed by seafood and sugar.

“Quantity wise, there will be a drop of 10 percent in our exports to the UK as a consequence of the fall in consumerism level in UK coupled with the depreciation of the pound,” the export group said in a report.

The Mauritius Exports Association (MEXA) report said 90 percent of all revenues from exports of textile and apparels to the UK comes in pounds while imports are in U.S. dollars.

MEXA said exporters’ profitability is expected to be “squeezed both in terms of exports and imports; exports revenue being depleted with the depreciation of the pound…and costs being inflated with the appreciation of the U.S. dollar.

“Companies are thereby faced with a double whammy.”

In 2015, textile and apparel exports to Britain amounted to 6.57 billion rupees, according to MEXA data.

($1 = 35.3500 Mauritius rupees)

 

(Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; editing by Elias Biryabarema and Mark Heinrich)

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