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Minerals dominate Zim exports

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ZIMBABWE exported goods worth US$4,39 billion in 2020, a marginal 2,7% increase from 2019’s US$4,28 billion, in a tough year in which COVID-19 hit commodity demand and cut off trade links.

What else does Zimbabwe’s trade data just released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, tell us about the economy?

Despite all the government rhetoric over the years about value addition, Zimbabwe’s exports are still made up mostly of primary commodities, largely minerals.

Of the US$4,4 billion earned from exports, mineral exports accounted for US$3,2 billion, or a massive 73% of all our exports.

Traditionally, gold has been Zimbabwe’s biggest export.

This changed in 2020, a year in which gold deliveries fell by 31% to reach 19,1 tonnes, the lowest output in six years.

For now, nickel mattes — which are really platinum group metals mattes — are the biggest exports.

In 2020, Zimbabwe exported US$985 million worth of mattes, just beating gold — at US$982 million — into second place.

Nickel ores and concentrates earned US$612 million, diamonds did US$141 million, ferroalloys US$140 million and platinum brought in US$134 million.

Zimbabwe exported more processed food in 2020 than it did in 2019.

Exports rose 17,96% to US$115 million from US$98 million in 2019.

These exports were dominated by sugar, which earned US$76 million.

Others included fruit juices (US$5,6 million) and pastry products (US$3,7 million).

According to ZimTrade, the export promotion agency, this growth was due to access into new markets.

Zimbabwean producers increased investment in better technologies and adopted global standards and accreditations on food safety and traceability, ZimTrade says. -newZWire

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