Zim enters 2016 with $150m trade deficit

ZIMBABWE opened the year 2016 with a trade deficit of $150 million as the country continues its over-reliance on foreign produced goods, latest trade data from the national statistics agency have shown.


Data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) last week showed that exports in January amounted to $249 million against $399 million worth of imports, which remain heavily skewed towards consumptive products following a significant drop in raw materials importation.

Most of the imports were consumptive products such as bottled water, sugar, soap, cooking oil, cellphone handsets, electronics, vehicles spares, clothing and second hand vehicles.

Cumulatively, imports from January 2015 to January this year amounted to $6,4 billion while exports were at $2,9 billion.

Last year, from January to December the country’s trade deficit stayed flat at $3,3 billion.

The government had predicted a $3 billion trade deficit for the whole year. Imports were projected to decline to $6,2 billion this year from $6,3 billion in 2015. Exports were expected to grow to $3,7 billion this year from $3,4 billion projected last year.

In 2014, Zimbabwe also registered a trade deficit of $3,3 billion while in 2013 it was $4,19 billion.

Zimstat said maize, rice, wheat, crude oil and cane topped the list of imports while exports in the period under review were dominated by gold, tobacco, nickel and diamonds, while imports comprised mainly of fuel, medicines, maize and vehicles, among others.

In his 2016 National Budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the continued depreciation of the South African rand against the United States dollar had undermined the competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s exports.

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  1. zimbabwe an agro based economy importing food stuffs from other countries doesnt make sense …..thats where our surplus was supposede to be coming from …..the country need to do as muchb as it can to support agric and relax some of the policies a bit (indeginisation). the agric sector can then help to boost other sectors like the industries processing these agric products

  2. Murimi Wanhasi

    Zimbabwe needs to re position itself as an agro hub in Southern Africa. But with the current crop of ministers we have , its easy. We can cut huge chunks of forex outflows and instead attract more of it here? Look at Zambia now.

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