In August 2020, Namibia’s exports stood at N$6.3 billion and imports at N$8.2 billion, subsequently, the country’s trade balance resulted in a deficit of N$1.9 billion.
The August 2020 figures show that exports weakened month-on-month, falling by 3.2% from its revised level of N$6.6 billion in July 2020, whereas year-on-year, export improved by 7.6% from N$5.9 billion recorded in August 2019.
According to the Namibia Trade Statistics Bulletin for August 2020, total imports declined by 17% and 6% from its level of N$9.9 billion in the preceding month and N$8.8 billion recorded in August 2019.
Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) stated that China maintained its dominance as the country’s largest export destination, with a share of 41% of all goods exported, and was followed by South Africa, which accounted for 16.5% of total exports.
Furthermore, Botswana, Spain and Zambia formed part of Namibia’s top five export destinations. The demand side saw South Africa maintaining its first spot as the country’s largest source of imports, accounting for 41.9% of total imports into Namibia.
Zambia also remained firm on its usual second position with 27.2% of the market share. Countries such as China, Bulgaria and DRC also formed part of Namibia’s top five sources of imports.
Shimuafeni on analysis of commodities revealed that the category of non-ferrous metals had the largest share (33.8%) in Namibia’s total exports ahead of non-metallic mineral manufactures (18.3%), fish (9.9%), metalliferous ores and metal scrap (9.8%) and non-monetary gold (7.8%).
In terms of imports, nonferrous metals also appeared as the most imported commodity with a relative share of 29.1% of total imports, followed by metalliferous ores and metal scrap with 6.4%, vehicles with 5.9%.
Moreover, miscellaneous manufactured articles, as well as petroleum and petroleum products contributed 3.4% each in Namibia’s total imports.
In terms of regional composition, he stated that Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) was the largest export market during August 2020, with a market share of 42.3% of total exports followed by the SACU region with relative market shares of 29.8%. On the imports side, SACU remained the main source of Namibia’s imports, having a share of 42.7% in the country’s total import bill followed by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), excluding Southern African Customs Union (SACU) with 31.3% each.
Namibia’s trade by mode of transport shows that in August 2020, the majority of goods exported left the country by sea, accounting for 55.8% of total exports, followed by air transport with 26.3% and road transport with 17.9%.
Finally, dairy was selected as the commodity of the month in August 2020 and the figures show import of daily products stood at N$61 million, mainly distributed among commodities such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, dairy spreads and butter – and was mostly (92.9%), sourced from South Africa.