Trade deficit reduces by 31%
The Namibia Statistics Agency announced that the country recorded a trade deficit of N$17.38 billion in 2018, down 31% from the N$25.18 billion recorded in 2017.
Statistician-General, Alex Shimuafeni on Tuesday said this deficit was mostly attributed to the importation of high valued manufactured commodities and machinery, while mostly exporting low value primary goods.
Overall exports grew from N$63.87 billion in 2017 to N$92.84 billion in 2018, while imports recorded a 19% growth from N$89.4 billion in 2017 to N$110.22 billion.
Exports were mostly destined to China (N$16.41 billion), overtaking South Africa (N$14.89 billion). Belgium was Namibia’s third export destination (N$9.30 billion), followed by Botswana (N$9.25 billion) and the United Kingdom (N$6.17 billion). According to Shimuafeni, the growth in exports to China was led by minerals such as copper and ores. Other exported commodities were vessels and boats and fish.
Meanwhile, imports were mainly sourced from South Africa (N$49.13 billion), Zambia (N$15.59 billion), China (N$6.25 billion), Bahamas (N$5.73 billion) and Botswana (N$4.51 billion). Most imported commodities were copper, oil and mineral fuels, vessels and boats, industrial machinery, and motor vehicles and their parts.
In 2018, exports were mostly transported by sea while imports were mainly transported by road.