Mining production boosts exports – trade statistics
Mining production across different commodities lifted exports significantly in June 2021 as exports increased by 14.1% in June 2021 to N$8.6 billion, an increase of N$5.4 billion a month earlier.
According to the latest trade statistics by the Namibia Statistics Agency, key commodities accounted for just over 70% of total exports, where exports in zinc increased by 460,623.5%, uranium 549.7%, copper 43.1% and gold up by 7.7% in June 2021.
Exports in diamonds decreased by 7.8% in June 2021. Zinc exports shot off from a low base, recording N$0.00 exports in May 2021 and N$5 million in June 2021. Uranium was mainly purchased by China, with Canada buying a smaller share.
Theo Klein, an economist at Simonis Storm Securities said key mines across commodities have been under care and maintenance, with production expected to resume fully by the end of this year or early next year.
“We believe the trade deficit to improve going forward, mainly on the back of increased mining production (as per our latest Quarterly outlook). Bank of Namibia expects higher diamond and uranium production to offset production losses in zinc and copper, according to their latest Economic Outlook,” Klein said.
The uranium production index increased by 65.2% in May 2021, followed by zinc up 29% and gold up 10.8% in May 2021.
“As per our latest Quarterly Outlook, we believe as mines restart production after care and maintenance programmes are completed, the trade deficit should improve owing to increased global factory orders, positive business sentiment and manufacturing expansion signalled by elevated global manufacturing Purchasing Managers Indices. Elevated commodity prices are also expected to favour Namibia’s export earnings going forward,” Klein said.
Namibia sent most of its exports to China, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain (73.6% of all exports were sent to these five countries).
In terms of modes of transportation, 73% of all exports left Namibia via sea (56.9% in the prior month), 13.7% by air (22.6% in the prior month) and 13.2% by road (20.5% in the prior month).
On the other hand, imports, however, increased by 33.1% in June 2021 to N$9.6 billion, leading to a decrease in the trade deficit (from N$3.2 billion in May 2021 to N$987 million in June 2021).
Namibia sourced most of its imports from South Africa, Peru, Zambia, the DRC and India (73.8% of all imports came from these five countries).
The largest import product for June 2021 was copper, mainly imported from Zambia and the DRC. However, majority of the copper imported was re-exported to the Netherlands, China and France. Petroleum oils were mainly bought from India, Tunisia and South Africa, whereas diamonds were mainly sourced from Botswana and Belgium.
About 61.2% of imports entered Namibia via road (70% in the prior month), 34.3% via sea (27.6% in the prior month) and 4.5% via air (2.3% in the prior month).