ZIMBABWE’s trade deficit in the four months to April increased to $1,6 billion as the country continues to be a net importer of goods and services due to depressed performance industry, to meet consumer demands.
According to figures released by the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (Zimstat) in the four month-period, imports totalled $2,62 billion against exports of $1 billion resulting in the widened trade deficit.
A trade deficit is an economic condition that occurs when a country is importing more goods than it is exporting —like in the case of Zimbabwe.
Imports were mainly skewed towards motor vehicle and accessories as well as foodstuffs including milk products.
In the first three months of the year the trade deficit was at $845,51 million with exports down 10% on last year. There has generally been more importing activity in the second half of the year.
According to Bulawayo-based economic analyst, Erich Bloch, exports are set to plunge this year as a result of the weakening rand against the US dollar as the South African economy continues to slow down. In the four months, the country imported diesel worth $266,02 million, ammonium nitrate of $22,14 million while exports by the clothing sector dropped significantly, especially to South Africa to 5% from 18%.
This translates to a trade balance ratio in favour of South Africa of 1:6.
Zimbabwe exports were mainly dominated by minerals by with gold weighing in with $177 million, nickel concentrates $101 million while platinum contributed $45 million.
The country exported tobacco worth $100,43 million in the period.
The trade deficit with South Africa was at $529,6 million from imports of $1,273 billion and exports of $743,79 million while trade with Mozambique was almost flat, but in favour of Zimbabwe at $910, 288 million from exports of $83,58 million against imports of $82,67 million.
Economic analysts are projecting the trade deficit to widen to over $3 billion this year up from $2,6 billion recorded last year, as the country remains a net importer of goods.
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