Namibia has significantly narrowed its trade deficit with other African countries from N$4.8 billion (US$329 million) in June 2021 to N$3.2 billion (US$219 million) in July 2021.
This comes as leaders push for greater trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area, launched in January this year.
Namibia Statistics Agency Statistician-General Mr Alex Shimuafeni said, “Exports decreased by N$737 million (US$50.5 million) to N$1.9 billion (US$130 million), and imports decreased by N$2.3 billion (US$157.7 million) to N$5.1 billion (US$349.7 million).”
He also revealed that: “For the month of July 2021, the export bill for Namibia amounted to N$4.8 billion (US$329 million) down by 49.4 percent from June 2021 while the import bill stood at N$7.9 billion (US$541.8 million) down by 23.1 percent from June 2021. Thus resulting in a trade deficit of N$3.2 billion (US$219 million). The widening trade deficit … from N$902 million (US$61.8 million) in June 2021 was due to a decline in exports of mineral products (copper, precious stones-diamonds), and fish. While imports saw a decline in copper, petroleum oils, precious stones-diamonds, copper ores and concentrates and; motor vehicles.”
Namibia’s total merchandise declined 35.7 percent and 23.6 percent from June 2021 and July 2020 levels respectively.
Mr Shimuafeni said, “Namibia’s trade composition by partner illustrated that South Africa emerged as Namibia’s largest market for both exports and imports. The composition of the export basket mainly comprised of minerals such as copper, precious stones (diamonds), non-monetary gold as well as ores and concentrates of base metals.”
He said fish remained the only non-mineral product among the top five exports.
“On the other hand, the import basket comprised mainly of copper, petroleum oils, ores of precious metals, precious stones (diamonds), and medicaments. The July 2021 trade figures indicated that re-exports took a dive, falling by 28.6 percent month-on-month and 21.2 percent year-on-year. Important to note is that copper appears as the most dominant commodity on both trade flows indicating the vital role the country plays as a major logistics hub for SADC,” he said.
Walvis Bay remains Namibia’s main exit point for exports while Ariamsvlei handles the most imports.