Diamond, fish exports boost Namibia’s trade balance

Diamonds and fish contributed 21.7% and 16.9% respectively to the country's exports during the month of April 2023, contributing to the improvement in Namibia's trade balance compared to the previous month.

Official figures reveal that Namibia exported diamonds worth N$1.6 billion during the month of April 2023, yielding a trade surplus of N$1.4 billion.

According to the latest figures from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), during the month, fish alone recorded a trade surplus of N$1.3 billion.

The figures reveal that Namibia's trade deficit in April 2023 showed improvement, amounting to N$1.3 billion, compared to the N$2.2 billion recorded in March 2023.

This positive change was a result of a 26.2% decrease in export earnings during the period, falling from N$10.2 billion in the previous month to N$7.6 billion. 

Additionally, the import bill for the reviewed month decreased by 28.7% compared to the previous month's figure of N$12.5 billion. 

"Namibia's trade composition experienced a notable shift, with fish emerging as a crucial contributor to the country's export market. Among the top five exported goods, fish was the only non-mineral product," the report said.

Namibia's exports amounted to N$7.6 billion, with fish accounting for a substantial share. Fish, along with precious stones (diamonds), non-monetary gold, uranium, and copper blisters, played a vital role in driving Namibia's exports for the month. 

"Precious stones (diamonds) continued being Namibia’s largest export commodity during April 2023, accounting for 21.7 percent of total exports mostly destined to Botswana, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates," said the NSA.

Similarly, fish exports accounted for 16.9% of the country's total exports, with Spain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia being the primary destinations for Namibian fish.

"While fish exports flourished, Namibia's imports comprised petroleum oils, motor vehicles for transportation, iron and steel bars, motor cars for personal transportation, and civil engineering and contractors' equipment," the bulletin notes.

The report notes that petroleum oils constituted a substantial import bill of N$945 million, resulting in a deficit of N$646 million.

Motor vehicles for the transportation of goods followed closely, contributing to an import bill of N$574 million and a deficit of N$402 million.

"In April 2023, Namibia recorded a trade deficit of N$1.3 billion. However, this deficit showed improvement compared to the previous month, reflecting a decline in exports by 26.2 percent but an increase of 13.4 percent compared to the same period last year," the NSA noted.

NSA added that imports experienced a decrease of 28.7% compared to the previous month and 12.3% compared to April 2022.

"South Africa maintained its position as Namibia's largest trading partner, accounting for 21.2 percent of all exported goods. Botswana followed closely with a share of 16.2 percent. On the import side, South Africa remained the primary source, contributing to 46.7 percent of total imports, while China ranked second at 14.9 percent."

The analysis of export commodities revealed that precious stones (diamonds) held the largest share at 21.7% t, with fish coming in second at 16.9 percent, followed by non-monetary gold at 9.4 percent. Uranium accounted for 8.3 percent, and copper blisters contributed 7.3%.

In terms of regional composition, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) emerged as the largest export market, contributing to 37.4 percent of total exports.

"The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranked second, with a market share of 24.9 percent. SACU also topped the list as the largest source of imports, accounting for 47.3 percent of the total import bill," added the bulletin. 

Meanwhile, transportation-wise, sea transport dominated as the primary mode for exporting goods, representing 38.3% of total exports. 

Air transport followed closely at 31.8%, and road transport accounted for 29.9%.

On the import side, road transport constituted 63.7% of total imports, with sea transport at 32.8%.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 07 June 2023 16:34

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