Zim’s trade deficit nar­rows

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Harare Bureau

ZIM­BABWE’S trade deficit nar­rowed 13 per­cent to $2 bil­lion in the nine months to Septem­ber com­pared to $2,3 bil­lion in the same pe­riod last year on lower imports.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Zim­babwe Na­tional Sta­tis­tics Agency, the coun­try’s imports for the pe­riod dropped 6,4 per­cent to $3,7 bil­lion from $4 bil­lion worth of goods im­ported dur­ing the same pe­riod last year.

Sta­tis­tics show that top source coun­tries for imports in­clude South Africa, Sin­ga­pore, China, In­dia, Mozam­bique, Ja­pan, Botswana and the United Arab Emi­rates.

Ma­jor imports for the pe­riod were diesel, un­leaded petrol, elec­tri­cal energy, crude soya bean, rice and non al­co­holic bev­er­ages and medica­ments used in man­age­ment of chronic ill­nesses.

Ac­cord­ing to Zim­stat, the coun­try im­ported maize (ex­clud­ing seed) worth $187 mil­lion. The coun­try, to­gether with the rest of the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced an El Nino in­duced drought in the 2015 /16 agri­cul­ture sea­son which af­fected out­put.

This re­sulted in in­crease in im­por­ta­tion of grain and other food items.

On the other hand, ex­ports were nearly flat at $1,7 bil­lion. Ma­jor ex­ports for the pe­riod were min­er­als in par­tic­u­lar gold, nickel, plat­inum — un­wrought or in pow­der form, in­dus­trial di­a­monds, flue cured to­bacco, cane, tea and wood.

Ex­ports as clas­si­fied by coun­try were dom­i­nated by South Africa, United Arab Emi­rates, Mozam­bique, Botswana and Zam­bia.

Month-on-month, to­tal imports de­clined marginally to $443 mil­lion in Septem­ber from $445 mil­lion recorded in Au­gust as im­pact of the SI64 be­gins to take ef­fect.

Imports from South Africa, how­ever, in­creased in Septem­ber to $197 mil­lion com­pared to $184 mil­lion recorded in the pre­vi­ous month.

An­a­lysts con­tend the near stag­na­tion in ex­ports also re­flects the general chal­leng­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment char­ac­terised by low ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion, de­pressed demand and fluc­tu­a­tions in prices of com­modi­ties on the global mar­ket.

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