Zim records US$2bn trade deficit for 2022

Mining trucks

THE country recorded a trade deficit of US$1,96 billion for the period between January and November 2022, which is an increase from the US$1,4 billion recorded during the same period in 2021, the latest trade report from Zimtrade shows.

The report showed an increase in the number of exports and imports altogether.

Exports of manufactured or valued added products increased by 13% from US$295 million in January to November 2021 to US$334 million in 2022”

For the period under review, the country’s total exports stood at US$5,9 billion, which is a 9,2% increase compared to US$5,4 billion recorded in the same period in 2021.

The increase in trade exports was attributed to various sectors of trade in the country, these include the mining sector, processed food sector, agricultural inputs and implements, packing and stationery, processed leather, building and construction material, clothing footwear and textile, leather hides and skins. 

The mining sector exports increased by 11% due to an increase in gold deliveries. As of November 2022, Zimbabwe had exported 33,3 tonnes of gold attaining a 31% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

 Small-scale miners contributed 22,9 tonnes of the total amount of the gold deliveries 

“The mining sector exports increased from US$4,29 billion during the same period in 2021 to US$4,76 billion in 2022 translating to an 11% increase. The increase may be attributed to an increase in gold deliveries. Of the total gold deliveries up to November 2022, small-scale miners contributed 22,9 tonnes while the remainder came from big producers,” Zimtrade said in the report.

Processed food exports recorded a 26% increase, contributing 1,1% of the total exports. Confectionery products brought in US$6,4 million sugar exports US$25,8 million and pepper US$4,2 million.

 “Processed foods during the period under review exports increased by 26% from US$56,2 million in January to November 2021 to US$70,6 million in 2022. The sector contributed 1,1% to total exports. Major contributors in the sectors were sugar exports (US$25,8 million), confectionery products (US$6,4 million) and pepper of the genus piper, capsicum or pimenta, dried, crushed or ground (US$4,2 million).”

Seeds, fruits and spores used for sowing were major exports in the agricultural sector. Following was seed maize which amounted to US$4 million.

“Agricultural inputs and implements exports increased by 33%, from US$20,9 million in 2021 to US$27,8 million in 2022. Major exports were seeds, fruits and spores,” Zimtrade said.

On the other hand, imports increased by 16% to US$7,9 billion from US$6,8 billion in 2021. 

Imports during the period under review increased by 16,1% while machinery imports amounted to US$1,5 billion, contributing 20% of the total import bill.

According to the report, the country’s biggest source of imports remains South Africa with 40,9% of imports. Second is China, with imports amounting to US$1,07 billion.

“South Africa remains the largest source market for imports accounting for 40,9% of imports, followed by China with US$1,07 billion. Singapore accounts for 13,7% of the country’s imports,” Zimtrade noted in the report.

From Singapore, the country mainly imported fuel and fertilisers while imports from Mozambique have been increasing after DP World introduced a train between Harare and Maputo.

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