Trade deficit narrows by 42,8 percent

Sikhulekelani Moyo, [email protected]

ZIMBABWE’S trade deficit narrowed by 42,8 percent to US$152,4 million in January 2024 from US$266,3 million recorded in December 2023, with South Africa and China being major source countries of imports, official statistics show.

Trade deficit occurs when a country’s value of imports is greater than the value of exports in a given period. When the value of exports exceeds the value of imports, it implies a trade surplus.

Outlining external trade statistics for January and price statistics for February, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency manager of finance and balance of payment, Mr Grown Chirongwe, said the January 2024 trade deficit for goods was US$152,4 million, translating to a 42,8 percent decrease from a deficit of US$266,3 million recorded in December 2023.

“The total value of exported goods in January 2024 was US$540,3 million, representing a 1,9 percent decrease from US$550,6 million reported in December 2023.

“Imports for January 2024 amounted to US$692,7 million, a decrease of 15,2 percent from US$817 million recorded in December 2023,” he said.

During the period under review, Zimstat said among the country’s major export destinations in January were South Africa (30 percent), the United Arab Emirates (25 percent) and China (16,1 percent).

The three countries accounted for around 71 percent of the total export value of US$540,3 million. Among the major source countries for imports in January 2024 were South Africa (36,0 percent) and China (16,4 percent).

The two countries accounted for 52,4 percent of the total import value of US$692,7 million. Industrial supplies comprised 91 percent of the goods exported in January 2024 and 35,8 percent of the goods imported in January 2024, comprising industrial supplies, followed by the capital goods category, which accounted for 19,3 percent.

In line with the National Export Strategy, which was launched in 2019, Zimbabwe has set a target of meeting US$6,26 billion in exports of goods and US$651 million from services each year.

This has seen the trade development and promotion body (ZimTrade) riding on the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement initiatives to establish trade relationships between Zimbabwe and other countries to increase exports.

Meanwhile, ZimStat said the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in February was $432  454,90, representing an increase of 178,4 percent over the January 2024 figure of $155 360,39.

This means that the minimum needs basket costs that much per person in February 2024.

“The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person in February 2024 was $552 745,80. This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at February 2024 in order not to be deemed poor.

“This represents an increase of 177,8 percent when compared to the January 2024 figure of $198 981.37,” said Mr Chirongwe.

On inflation he said the month-on-month inflation rate for February 2024, was 5,4 percent, shedding 1,2 percentage points on the January 2024 rate of 6,6 percent.

The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of February 2024, as measured by the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 47,6 percent. —@SikhulekelaniM1

You Might Also Like