Mauritius sees 2013 trade deficit expanding by 2 pct

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius expects its trade deficit to widen by 2 percent to 83 billion Mauritius rupees in 2013 from 81.33 billion rupees last year, the statistics agency said on Wednesday.

Based on recent past trends and indicative information from various sources, Statistics Mauritius said in a statement that total exports for the year 2013 are expected to be about 87 billion rupees against 170 billion rupees of imports.

It said the trade deficit narrowed 8.6 percent to 53.29 billion rupees in the nine months to September, however, as exports rose 11.4 percent to 64.55 billion rupees.

The cost of imports rose slightly, by 1.4 percent to 117.87 billion rupees.

Britain was Mauritius' top market in Europe, accounting for 17.2 percent of exports in the first nine months of this year. India was the main supplier of the island nation's goods, accounting for 25 percent of imports.