Mauritius' trade deficit widened sharply year-on-year in February, due mainly to rising fuel and food costs on the import-dependent Indian Ocean island, official data showed on Tuesday.
The deficit -- which widened throughout 2010 -- increased by 18.4 percent compared with the same month last year to 5.69 billion rupees, the Central Statistics Office said.
Mauritius' year-on-year import costs rose 18.7 percent to 11 billion rupees.
Exports increased 19.1 percent to 5.30 billion rupees, helped by revenues from the export of food and live animals, including monkeys for scientific research, and manufactured articles including clothing.
In February, Britain was the main buyer of goods from Mauritius, accounting for 21 percent of its exports, while India supplied 20.2 percent of the island's imports.
Mauritius' trade deficit widened 17 percent to 66.528 billion rupees in 2010 as rising imports outstripped growth in exports.