Windhoek – Namibia has seen a significant increase of cargo transiting through Walvis Bay Port, primarily driven by increased usage of the facility by landlocked countries in Southern Africa.
The establishment of dry ports thanks to President Hage Geingob’s government has seen countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe making greater use of Walvis Bay for imports and exports with Europe and America. Zambia, too, has been increasingly using Walvis Bay Port.
According to the latest trade statistics released by the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA), Statistician-General Mr Alex Shimuafeni, the cargo handled through the port was dominated by copper exports from Zambia.
The NSA, however, said Namibia recorded an overall decline in total merchandise trade, which slowed to N$14.1 billion (US$981 million), a decline of 37.8 percent and 12.2 percent compared on the April 2021 and May 2020 figures respectively.
The decline meant Namibia’s trade balance remaining in a deficit amounting to N$3.2 billion (US$222 million) from deficits of N$143 million (US$9.9 million) recorded in April 2021 and N$1.2 billion (US$83.5 million) in May 2020.
“Namibia’s trade composition by partner illustrated that China emerged as Namibia’s largest export market, while South Africa was the main import market. The composition of the export basket mainly comprised of minerals such as copper, uranium, precious stones (diamonds) and fish,” the NSA boss said.
Mr Shimuafeni said fish remained the only non-mineral product among Namibia’s top five exports.
On the other hand, the import basket consisted mainly of copper and copper ores; petroleum oils; motor vehicles; ships, boats and other floating structures.
“The May 2021 trade figures indicated that re-exports fell by 60.3 percent month-on-month and by 20.3 percent year-on-year. Copper had the largest share of all goods re-exported, accounting for 57.8 percent of total re-exports mainly destined to China, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and Belgium. Most of the copper re-exported originated from Zambia and DRC,” Mr Shimuafeni said.
He said Namibia saw the value of exports in May declining by 51.6 percent from April 2021 figures.