The month of January 2021 saw Namibia’s total merchandise trade declining to N$15 billion, which is 13.5% less than the N$17 billion recorded in December 2020 and 5.1% more than N$14 billion recorded in January 2020.
According to the Namibia Trade Statistics bulletin for January 2021 released last week, the country’s trade balance remained in a deficit of N$225 million, narrowing from N$621 million recorded in December 2020 and N$1.2 billion registered in January 2020.
NSA Statistician General and CEO Alex Shimuafeni explained Namibia’s trade composition by partner shows that China emerged as Namibia’s largest export market, while South Africa maintained her position as the number one source of imports.
The composition of goods exported comprised mainly of minerals such as copper, uranium ore, non-monetary gold and pearls, as well as precious stones, mainly diamonds. Fish was the only non-mineral product among the top five list of exports.
On the other hand, the import basket comprised mainly of copper, petroleum and petroleum products, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, pearls and precious stones (diamonds) as well as motor vehicles.
Shimuafeni stated that the January 2021 trade figures indicated that re-exports deteriorated, falling by 2.2% month-on-month but improved by 15.4% year-on-year.
Copper took the largest share of re-exports, constituting a share of 69.8% of total re-exports destined mainly to China, Belgium and Australia. The copper that was re-exported was mostly sourced from Zambia and DRC.
The value of exports in January 2021 reduced by 11.6% to N$7.2 billion from its level of N$8.2 billion recorded in December 2020. However, when compared to its level of N$6.4 billion recorded in January 2020, exports improved by 13.6%.
The NSA revealed that imports stood at N$7.5 billion, falling by 15.3% and 2% compared to N$8.8 billion and N$7.6 billion recorded in December 2020 and January 2020, respectively.
Following the developments in exports and imports, Namibia’s total merchandise trade with the rest of the world weakened by 13.5% from N$17 billion obtained in December 2020 to the current value of N$14.7 billion while improving by 5.1% from its level of N$14 billion recorded in January 2020.