In 2020, Namibia, recorded a decline in the values of both imports and exports, which resulted in a deficit amounting to N$19.6 billion, narrowing from its 2019 level of N$20 billion. The country’s overall trade, total of exports and imports, amounted to N$197 billion, slightly lower than its 2019 level of N$204.5 billion.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) annual trade statistics bulletin for 2020, the exports revenue stood at N$88.7 billion showing a 3.8% decline from its 2019 level of N$92.2 billion. The value of imports stood at N$108.3 billion, a decrease of 3.5% from N$112.2 billion in 2019.
“Namibia’s trade continues to be highly skewed towards a few countries and commodities. For instance, the export market was highly dominated by countries such as China, South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Spain, Zambia, DRC, Germany, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands which accounted for 84% of total exports,” outlines the bulletin.
On the other hand, the import market was mainly comprised of South Africa, Zambia, DRC, China, Bulgaria, India, Peru, USA Chile and Germany, which constituted 82% of total imports in 2020.
This shows Namibia’s dependence on a few countries for its exports as well as for satiating its demand for foreign products.
The commodities traded in 2020 were also restricted to a few commodities with the top ten leading export commodities accounting for 87.7% of total exports while on the imports side the top ten leading commodities represented 61.6% of total imports.
The bulletin stated that there is a need for the country to diversify its export market to mitigate the risks associated to supply and demand shocks.
In terms of the mode of transport used for transporting goods in and out of Namibia, sea transport was the most preferred mode of transport for exports in 2020, accounting for 55% of total exports ahead of road and air-bound that accounted for 23% and 22%, respectively.
Furthermore, imports were mostly road-bound, accounting for 68.2% of all imports followed by the sea with 29.5% and airborne with 2.3%.