Nam toasts healthy US$1,2bn trade balance

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Windhoek - Namibia has recorded a health trade balance of N$18,1 billion (more than US$1,2 billion) over the past two months, which is 10,8 percent higher than the N$16,4 billion (approximately US$1,1 billion) as at August 2020.

This is according to figures released by Namibian Statistics Agency Statistician-General Mr Alex Shimuafeni this week.

The figures also showed that despite the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Namibia’s trade with other countries – particularly Botswana, South Africa and Zambia - has improved in the past two months.

“Namibia’s trade composition by partner was skewed towards a few countries. China emerged as Namibia’s largest export market while South Africa maintained its position as the number one source of imports for Namibia.

“The composition of goods exported remained the same mainly consisting of minerals such as non-ferrous metals, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, non-metallic mineral manufactures, as well as non-monetary gold,” Mr Shimuafeni said. 

The Statistician-General added, “Fish remained the only non-mineral products among the top five list of exports. On the other hand, the import basket consisted mainly of non-ferrous metals, petroleum and petroleum products; metalliferous ores and metal scrap, vehicles and inorganic chemicals.”

The stats agency said the September–October trade figures indicated that total re-exports decreased by 7,7 percent month on-month and increased by 61,8 percent year-on-year to reach N$4 billion (US$269 million) from N$4,4 billion (US$295 million) in August 2020 and N$2,5 billion (US$167 million) in September 2019.

“The non-ferrous metals took the largest share of re-exports, constituting a share of 61,1 percent of total re-exports mainly to China and Hong Kong.  The non-ferrous metals which were re-exported were mostly sourced from Zambia and DRC. 

“In September 2020, the value of exports improved, rising by 12,1 percent to N$8,4 billion (US$564 million) from its revised level of N$7,5 (US$503 million) billion recorded in August 2020. While, when compared to its level of N$7 billion (US$470 million) obtained in September 2019, exports improved by 20 percent,” the Namibia Statistics Agency said.

The agency added: “Imports, on the other hand, surged by 10,2 percent and 9,6 percent when compared to September 2019 and August 2020, respectively, resulting in Namibia’s total merchandise trade with the ROW to improve by 10,8 percent and 14,5 percent when compared to August 2020 and September 2019 respectively.”

According to the released figures, Namibia’s trade deficit remained at N$1,4 billion (US$94 million) as of August 2020 but improved from a deficit of N$1,9 billion (US$127 million) in September 2019.

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