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Trade deficit balloons to N$8.3 billion in Q1 2018

Trade deficit balloons to N$8.3 billion in Q1 2018

The Namibia Statistics Agency this week said the trade deficit had ballooned to N$8.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 as compared to N$4.8 billion witnessed during the same period of last year, implying a worsening deficit of 71%.

The import bill rose to N$27.1 billion, recording an increase of 33%, this compared to N$20.5 billion recorded in the same quarter last year. Imports were mainly sourced from South Africa (N$10.9 billion), Bahamas (N$3.5 billion, a vessel), Zambia (N$3.5 billion), China (N$1.7 billion), and Botswana (N$1.2 billion).

“In terms of commodities, vessels, copper cathodes, mineral fuel and oils; boilers and vehicles emerged as the most imported commodities which contributed largely to Namibia’s import bill during the first quarter of 2018,” said Statistician General at the NSA, Alex Shimuafeni.

Equally, exports advanced, rising by 21% to register N$18.8 billion when compared to N$15.6 billion in the same period last year. Namibia’s leading export markets in q1-2018 comprised of China (N$3.4 billion), South Africa (N$3.3 billion), Belgium (N$2.4 billion), Botswana (N$1.9 billion) and Italy (N$1.4 billion). Leading export commodities comprised mostly of minerals as well as fish.

Shimuafeni said that in terms of economic regions, over 35% of Namibia total value of goods exported were destined to the European Union, making that region Namibia’s largest export destination.

Moreover, sea transport was the most used mode of transport in terms of exports, shipping out 56.9% of the total exports. The remaining 23.3% and 19.9% were transported via air and road respectively.

According to Shimuafeni 55.2% of the total imports to Namibia were transported via road, with the remainder of 39.6% and 5 % of total imports coming in by sea and air transport respectively.

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