HARARE – Zimbabwe recorded a 10, 98 percent decrease in trade deficit between the months of June and July 2022, latest figures from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) show.
In simplest terms, a trade deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports.
Experts say a trade deficit can be a sign of a strong economy and, under certain conditions, can lead to stronger economic growth for the deficit-running country in the future.
Zimbabwe has had a trade deficit since January 2020.
Much of the deficit has been from the importation of machinery, mechanical appliances and equipment averaging 25 percent this year.
Mineral fuels, however, make up the biggest chunk of imports averaging 20 percent of the overall import bill.
In July much of the export earnings have been from semi-manufactured gold accounting for 35,6 percent while nickel ores and concentrates accounted for 30,8 percent.
During the month of July 2022, the country exported semi-manufactured gold valued at US$195,7 million, signifying an increase from US$152,2 million in June 2022.
In the same month of July 2022, the country exported 26,034 tonnes of nickel ores and concentrates valued at US$169,6 million, compared to 15,143.9 tonnes valued at US$106.4 million in June 2022.
Besides the major minerals usually exported, Zimbabwe also exported 7 kilogrammes of industrial diamonds valued at US$6,1million in July 2022, while in June 2022, 3 kilogrammes of industrial diamonds raked in US$2.1 million in export earnings.
According to the statistics agency, the trade deficit for the month of July 2022 stood at US$179 million compared with a deficit of US$212,1 million in June 2022.
This is after the value of total exports in July 2022 increased by 1,62 percent to US$549,7 million, while imports decreased by 3,11 percent to US$729,6 million for the period under review.
Meanwhile, South Africa remained Zimbabwe’s major trading partner with July 2022, exports to South Africa at 39,0 percent, compared to 50,4 percent in June 2022.
Exports to United Arab Emirates constituted 36,0 percent in July 2022, compared to 28,2 percent in June 2022.
Value of exports to China increased to 7.5 percent in July 2022, from 6.7 percent in June 2022.
Exports to Mozambique constituted 6,5 percent in July 2022, an increase from 2,6 percent in June 2022.
The proportion of imports from South Africa was 39,3 percent in July 2022, compared to 43,4 percent in June 2022. Furthermore, the proportion of the value of imports from Singapore decreased to 13,9 percent in July 2022, from 14,7 percent in June 2022.
Imports from China increased to 17,6 percent in July 2022, from 11,1 percent in June 2022. Other imports in July 2022 came from India (4.5 percent), Zambia (3,2 percent), Mozambique (3.0 percent), United Arab Emirates (2 percent), Argentine (1,6 percent), Hong Kong (1,3 percent), United States of America (1,2 percent) and United Kingdom (1,2 percent). – Business Weekly