Platinum weighs down trade figures

PLATINUMZimbabwe’s trade deficit with key trading partners continues to grow after the country’s exports for April declined to $185,9 million from $188,7 million recorded in the prior month, latest Zimstat data has shown.

The drop was mainly due to the decline in mineral exports after mining companies’ suspended exports in April following the introduction of the 15 percent levy on un-beneficiated minerals.

Unki chairman Mr July Ndlovu said the company stopped exports of platinum concentrate on April 10 and will be guided by the outcome of dialogue between the industry and the Government.

For April 2015, Zimbabwe’s total exports were valued at $185,9 million, while the country’s imports were $465,8 million leading to a deficit of $279,9 million.

Total imports for the first four months of the year stood at $2,03 billion against exports for the same period of $902,4 million.

Cumulatively Zimbabwe’s trade deficit for January through to April has grown to $1,13 billion as the country continues to grapple with a liquidity squeeze and low capacity utilisation.

The continued collapse of local companies and the proliferation of a huge informal sector are the main drivers for the country’s huge import bill.

The strong US dollar versus most of the country’s trading partners has not helped the situation either.

Overall Zimbabwe continues to rely on imports from South Africa. The country remains Zimbabwe’s leading trading partner with total trade between the two countries for April 2015 being valued at $296,2 million falling 11 percent from $332,7 million registered in March.

Imports from the country were at $182,3 million while exports to South Africa were valued at $113,9 million, leaving a deficit of $68,4 million.

Singapore become the second largest trade partner after South Africa with Zimbabwe importing goods and services valued at $105,2 million followed by China with $30,7 million and Hong Kong with $23,1 million and Zambia at $15,9 million.

Zimbabwe’s imports from the United States of America were $6,8million while imports from the EU were $23,1 million with the United Kingdom being the largest import market at $10 million followed by Denmark, France and Germany. – Wires.

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