Zimbabwe’s exports increased by 35.5 per cent in the first half of 2021 to $2.52 billion from $1.86 billion in the same period last year, official figures have shown.
The data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) also indicated that while exports increased, the amount of imported goods soared to $3.02 billion in the first half of this year, resulting in a trade deficit of $496.1 million, as compared to $432.9 million in the same period last year.
In its monthly summary on exports and imports for June, Zimstat noted that imports continue to outpace exports. Zimbabwe’s imports in the first half of last year totalled $2.30 billion.
“In order to strengthen the country’s export earning capacity, it is vital to look closely at export drivers,” said the agency.
“June 2021 data shows that Zimbabwe’s main exports were semi-manufactured gold 28,2 per cent, nickel mattes including platinum group of minerals (PGMs) 23.2 per cent, nickel ores and concentrates 20.4 per cent, platinum unwrought or in powder form 3.9 per cent and tobacco 3.6 per cent.”
Additionally, the agency revealed that most minerals produced in the country were exported in semi-processed forms such as nickel concentrates and nickel mattes, while nickel ores (including PGMs) were exported in their raw form. Zimbabwe’s largest source of imports for June was machinery and mechanical appliances, which represented 13.5% of total imports.
“This was followed by mineral fuels, mineral oils product category at 11.2 per cent in June compared to 12.5 per cent in May 2021.
“Cereal imports including maize continuously dropped from a peak of 9.1 per cent in February 2021 to 5.6 per cent in May and 4.1 per cent in June 2021,” said Zimstat.
In 2021, maize imports rose from 5.7 per cent in January to 7.1 per cent in February before declining to 1.9 per cent in May, and further to 0.03 per cent in June.
Other major imports in June this year included fertilisers (10.6 per cent), vehicles (7.5 per cent), animal and vegetable fats (5 per cent) and pharmaceutical products including vaccines (..3 per cent).
“Notably, the major imports in Zimbabwe were aggregated to reach 90.8 per cent in June 2021,” said the agency.
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