Trade deficit with SA narrows to $98m in 2016

The trade deficit between Zimbabwe and South Africa stood at $98 million in 2016 due to numerous import restrictions employed by government last year.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Latest data gathered from the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) show that Zimbabwe exported goods worth $2,3 billion to South Africa in 2016 against imports of $2,2 billion, giving a trade deficit of $98 million.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner.

In the first 10 months of 2015, the trade deficit between two countries stood at $531 million.

In June last year, Zimbabwe banned the import of hundreds of items from its southern neighbour to reign in its ballooning trade deficit, which stood at $3,3 billion to shore up local manufacturers.

The list included furniture, baked beans, potato crisps, cereal, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jams, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza base, yoghurts, flavoured milks, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese.

The ban, however, sparked demonstrations and the burning down of a government warehouse in Beitbridge, a border town leading into South Africa.

In 2016, the country’s trade deficit dropped to $2,4 billion after exporting goods worth $2,8 billion against imports of $5,2 billion.

Zimbabwe’s major exports during the period under review were tobacco and minerals such as gold and platinum.

The country exported tobacco worth $873 million, followed by gold at $849m as well as nickel and concentrates at $294m.


Diamonds and platinum recorded $106m and $51m, respectively.

Some of Zimbabwe’s major export markets in 2016 were Mozambique ($268m), United Arab Emirates ($117m), Zambia ($72m), Belgium ($46m) and Botswana ($29m).

The country’s major import markets in the period under review were Singapore ($1,1 billion), China ($365m), India ($167m), Mozambique ($162m), Japan ($100m), United Kingdom ($91m), Mauritius ($72m) and United States of America ($67m).

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6 Comments

  1. Exports of $2.3billion against imports of $2.2 billion gives a SURPLUS of $100mil and not a deficit as your head-line implies. It is a Trade surplus.

    1. Down the article reporter says the country exported 2.8 billion dollars worth of goods to sa, and imported $5.2 billion worth of goods to have a deficit of $2.4 billion. Can somebody sort out the mess here and indicate what the journalist is trying to say. ‘Seems to be struggling to weave out a negative economic picture for zimbabwe, only managing to entangle himself or herself.

  2. Bogus story

  3. something very wrong. The same story says the trade deficit was $2.4 billion in 2016. Editor where are you?

  4. innocent paradzayi

    How can you say that. That is a damn lie

  5. is Singapore our largest import partner as per this article. We imported 1.1 billion worth of goods and services. What could it be that Singapore is exporting to us.

    “The country’s major import markets in the period under review were Singapore ($1,1 billion), China ($365m), India ($167m), Mozambique ($162m), Japan ($100m), United Kingdom ($91m), Mauritius ($72m) and United States of America ($67m).”

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