ZIMBABWE’S trade deficit narrowed 13 percent to $2 billion in the nine months to September compared to $2,3 billion in the same period last year on lower imports.According to figures released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the country’s imports for the period dropped 6,4 percent to $3,7 billion from $4 billion worth of goods imported during the same period last year.
Statistics show that top source countries for imports include South Africa, Singapore, China, India, Mozambique, Japan, Botswana and the United Arab Emirates.
Major imports for the period were diesel, unleaded petrol, electrical energy, crude soya bean, rice and non alcoholic beverages and medicaments used in management of chronic illnesses.
According to Zimstat, the country imported maize (excluding seed) worth $187 million. The country, together with the rest of the region experienced an El Nino induced drought in the 2015 /16 agriculture season which affected output. This resulted in increase in importation of grain and other food items.
On the other hand, exports were nearly flat at $1,7 billion. Major exports for the period were minerals in particular gold, nickel, platinum — unwrought or in powder form, industrial diamonds, flue cured tobacco, cane, tea and wood.
Exports as classified by country were dominated by South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia.
Month-on-month, total imports declined marginally to $443 million in September from $445 million recorded in August as impact of the SI64 begins to take effect.
Imports from South Africa, however, increased in September to $197 million compared to $184 million recorded in the previous month.
Analysts contend the near stagnation in exports also reflects the general challenging economic environment characterised by low capacity utilisation, depressed demand and fluctuations in prices of commodities on the global market.