Harare, (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe will record a trade surplus for the second year running, after recording a threefold-increase in its current account to US$939 million in the first nine month of the year, Finance Minster, Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.
During the same period last year, the trade surplus stood at US$319.9 million.
Professor Ncube told legislators while presenting the 2021 national budget statement the surplus grew on the back of mineral exports and import limitations due to Covid-19, and was expected to close the year at US$1.23 billion.
An 11 percent growth in merchandise exports to US$3.5 billion during the period pushed earnings.
“Export performance has been largely driven by gains in platinum group metals (PGMs) exports amid improved palladium and rhodium prices,” he said.
“The increase was, however, partially offset by declines in gold, tobacco, pure manufactures, chrome ore, high carbon ferrochrome (HCF) and diamond exports.”
Covid-19 constrained imports such as fuel, raw materials, machinery, manufactured goods and vehicles.
“The Covid-19 pandemic was mainly felt in trade in services with both exports and imports registering sharp declines,” he said.
Ncube said the current account was expected to remain positive in 2021 despite vulnerabilities in the global economy.
Zimbabwe’s new administration is implementing policies that promote local beneficiation to reduce imports while at the same time, making it expensive to make unnecessary imports. – New Ziana