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Trade deficit widens in August

Namibia’s trade balance with the rest of the world worsened by 40.1% in August to reach a deficit of N$2.5 billion caused by a sharp decline in export earnings.
The value of total exports recorded in August fell 39.6% to N$2.9 billion from N$4.8 billion in July while imports stood at N$5.4 billion, an 18.2% drop from the previous month’s figure of N$6.6 billion.
Namibia’s major export destinations in order of value were South Africa, Switzerland, Angola, Canada and Spain. These five countries accounted for 60.5% of exports. Unlike in previous months, there were no exports of diamonds to Botswana in the month under review.
South Africa also topped the list of countries from which Namibia imported goods followed by Italy, USA, China and Botswana. These five countries accounted for 87.7% of total imports during August.
Namibia’s five main exports were ores, fish, diamonds, zinc and vehicles. These five products accounted for 58.1% of total earnings and is down from 76.0% in July, but up from the 52.3% recorded in August 2012.
Namibia’s top five import commodities were mineral fuels and oils; vehicles, boilers, electrical machinery and diamonds. These five products accounted for 52.3% of total expenditure marginally up from the 51.2% in the previous month and the 47.4% seen in the same month of the preceding year.
The Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) remained the largest market for Namibia’s exports accounting for 36.4 % of total exports, although this figure was down from 59.7% recorded a month ago. SADC excluding SACU was the second largest market for Namibia’s exports with a share of 33.6%, up from 18.9% a month ago and 26.1% in August 2012.
In third position, Exports to the EU accounted for 29.7% of total exports, a decrease of 22.4% when compared to July and 37.25% when compared to the same month a year ago.
Imports were mostly from SACU countries compared to other economic blocs. Import expenditure from SACU amounted to N$3.9 billion representing 83.7% of total imports. However, imports from SACU declined by 6.6% month-on-month, but increased by 3.3% year-on-year.
The EU followed with a share of 12.3% of total imports, down from 17.8% in the previous month and 11.2% in August 2012. Imports from SADC-non-SACU states were in third place with a share of 3.9% down from 7.8% when compared to the previous month and 11.0% in the same month in 2012. This represents a month on month decline of 61.6% and a year on year decline of 68.2 %.

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