Monthly trade deficit sees large improvement in June compared to May
June posted a marked improvement on Namibia’s trade deficit, coming down from N$6.1 billion in May to a modest N$2.5 billion. This is the result of a significant 26% growth in export earnings while imports came down by nearly 16%.
In May, export earnings amounted to N$6.3 billion after revisions, climbing to N$8 billion in June. May’s revised import total came to N$12.4 billion, decreasing to N$10.5 billion. The large movements in both export and import statistics led to the significantly improved trade balance. The reduction in the monthly deficit is a very significant 59.4% from May to June.
Releasing the June trade statistics on Thursday 04 August, the Statistician General, Mr Alex Shimuafeni, said “International merchandise trade plays a crucial role in economic development as it links producers and consumers located in different countries into a global economic system.”
Despite the large movements in both the export and the import bill, the large May revisions caused total trade to remain fairly static at N$18.4 billion, down from N$18.8 billion in May. But compared to June a year ago, total trade jumped by a whopping 20.4%. At that time, monthly total trade barely exceeded the N$15 billion mark.
Thank to diamond exports to the trading hub in Gaberones, Botswana has become the largest export market for Namibian commodities. This is also reflected in local daily bank liquidity which can only be described as ‘extreme’ at more than N$10 billion, which the Bank of Namibia last week ascribed to diamond sales.
On the import side, most of just about everything the Namibian economy needs, still comes from South Africa.
Re-exports also remained fairly static in June, moving down by only 1.78% month on month, but growing nearly 70% compared to a year ago. Re-exports comprise mostly diamonds, petroleum products, inorganic chemical elements and copper.
Year to date statistics also sketch a picture of a marked acceleration in trade. For the first semester, January to June 2022, total trade came to N$107 billion, some 46% better than the N$73.2 billion of the last year’s first semester.