July year-on-year exports up 25pc

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The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats) reported a 25 percent rise in exports year-on-year with exports reaching $264,1 million in July.

Zimstats’ figures show that exports of tobacco, gold, ginned cotton, ferro-chromium, nickel and other products boosted the overall outcome.

Imports continued on an upward trajectory, rising by 22,2 percent, year on year, to $482 million.

This resulted in the widening of the trade deficit by 18,19 percent to $217,9 million, compared to the $184 million recorded same period last year. Zimstats figures show that the growth in imports was largely propelled by capital goods and raw materials imports.

In terms of bilateral trade, exports to Belgium declined significantly from $7.2 million in June to $3,800 in July. Exports to Mozambique also increased modestly to 36,7 million, month on month. Exports to South Africa, which is Zimbabwe’s main trading partner, also grew 15,4 percent month on month, to $157,6 million in July, from the $136,5 million recorded in June.

Imports from across the Limpopo also jumped 10.1 percent to $207 million; with those to India increasing 52 percent to $7,3 million. There was an 18 percent decline in imports from Singapore to $110 million, with those from China also decreasing from $55,5 million in June to $42,8 million last month. Imports from Hong Kong were $2,6 million, Germany $3,1 million and UAE $8,4 million.

The export of flue cured tobacco that is not stemmed nor stripped recorded its first significant increase to $10,1 million during the month of July, while the mainstream tobacco exports also jumped 53 percent to $33,9 million. As cotton deliveries have intensified, with significant ginning taking place across the country, the export of ginned cotton is starting to record some footprints on the trade map, with exported values rising from $796,000 in June to $5,6 million in July. Ferro-chromium registered a 27 percent rise to $19,5 million; with gold rising 2,2 percent to $74,8 million while nickel ores and concentrates grew 9,4 percent to $30,2 million.

For the first time since the beginning of the year, there were no diamond exports recorded in the month of July. Diamond exports have been averaging $7 million per month since the beginning of the year. Other cane sugar exports also decreased from $10 million in June to $4,3 million in July. Exports of nickel mattes also declined 21 percent to $38.8 million in July.

Meanwhile, there was a 72 percent rise in passenger motor cars imports in July, year on year, to $13,6 million. Fuel imports however receded on a month-on-month basis, with diesel decline 9,8 percent to $68,7 million, and petrol also declining 12,3 percent to $30 million. Aviation spirit imports for July were $16,7 million. However, electrical energy importation surged 62 percent to 19,6 million. There was also a surprise increase in cereals imports in July, with maize rising 38 percent to $11,3 million and broken rice imports also growing 284 percent to $10 million. — finx.

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