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2018 trade deficit remarkably reduced by 31%

2019-03-27  Staff Reporter

2018 trade deficit remarkably reduced by 31%

WINDHOEK - The year 2018 recorded a trade deficit amounting to N$17.38 billion, which the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has described as a remarkable reduction of 31 percent when compared to N$25.18 billion observed in the preceding year.  

In the latest trade figures released yesterday, the NSA indicated that the current deficit was mostly attributed to the importation of high valued manufactured commodities and machineries, while exporting mostly low value primary goods. 
Overall exports grew by 45 percent from N$63.87 billion in 2017 to N$92.84 billion, while imports recorded a 24 percent growth from N$89.04 billion in 2017 to N$110.22 billion.  

The NSA’s figures show that exports were mostly destined to China which absorbed N$16.41 billion (18 percent) of total exports, overtaking South Africa that occupied the same spot in 2017 with N$15.06 billion (24 percent) of total exports. This was mainly due to precious stones and metals destined to South Africa in 2017.  

The growth in exports to China was mainly led by minerals such as copper (N$9.766 billion) and ores (N$5.956 billion). South Africa ranked second with N$14.89 billion (16 percent), followed by Belgium N$9.30 billion (10 percent), Botswana N$9.25 billion (10 percent) and the UK N$6.17 billion (7 percent).

The main commodities exported were precious stones and metals as well as copper (22 percent each), vessels and boats (13 percent) mainly re-exports after exploration, ores (11 percent) and fish (10 percent of total exports).  
Imports on the other hand were mainly sourced from South Africa (N$49.13 billion), Zambia (N$15.59 billion), China (N$6.25 billion), Bahamas (N$5.73 billion) and Botswana (N$4.51 billion). 

Most commodities imported were copper (14 percent), oils and mineral fuels (10 percent); vessels and boats (10 percent); industrial machinery and motor vehicles and parts which accounted for 7 percent of overall imports, each. 
In terms of economic blocs, SACU was the major market for Namibia’s exports (N$23.44 billion) mainly due to export of precious stones and metals to South Africa and Botswana, and SACU was also the main source for imports (N$53.93 billion) which comprises mainly motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, precious stones and metals sourced from South Africa and Botswana.  

The EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) also absorbed a significant amount of domestic exports to the tune of N$14.08 billion and N$8.67 billion respectively. 

This was largely attributed to the export of vessels and boats to the UK and copper to Belgium. After SACU, SADC-NON-SACU was the biggest supplier of imports worth N$17.25 billion to Namibia, followed by COMESA with N$17.13 billion and BRIC with N$8.73 billion of overall imports. 

In 2018, sea was the most used mode of transport for exports and accounted for 59 percent of the total. This was followed by air and road that transported 23 percent and 18 percent of the exports respectively. 
On the other hand, imports were mostly transported by road which accounted for 60 percent of total imports, sea with 35 percent and air with only a five percent share of total imports.

2019-03-27  Staff Reporter

Tags: Khomas
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