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Trade surplus shoots over K100m

By TRYNESS  MBALE
ZAMBIA’S trade surplus has increased by more than K100 million.
Zambia’s annual inflation has remained at eight percent.
The trade surplus now stands at K117.2 million in July from K43.8 million in June while the annual inflation has been maintained at eight percent for August.
The highest trade surplus Zambia registered was K295.3 million in January but the performance dropped to K29.5 million in April.
Central Statistical Office director John Kalumbi attributed the rise in the trade surplus to increased exports in both traditional and non-traditional goods.
Mr Kalumbi said in Lusaka yesterday that metal exports increased to about K4.18 million in July from about K3.6 million in June.
“Zambia’s major export products in July were from intermediate goods category mainly comprising copper cathodes and sections of refined copper accounting for 84.7 percent.
“Other exports were from the consumer goods raw materials and capital goods categories which collectively accounted for 15.1 percent of total exports in July. This implies that between July and June, the country has been a net exporter of intermediate goods, mainly metals and their articles accounting for an average 83.9 percent of the total export,” he said.
He said the overall contribution of metals and their products to the total exports earning in July and June averaged 76.8 percent.
Mr Kalumbi said non-traditional exports also increased to about K1.17 million in July from K1.15 million in June.
He said non-traditional exports recorded an average of 23.2 percent in revenue earnings between July and June.
He, however, said Zambia’s major export destination in July was Switzerland, which accounted for 54.4 percent, China was second accounting for 13 percent, while the Democratic Republic of Congo was third, with South Africa was fourth accounting for five percent and Australia was fifth taking 4.3 percent.
On inflation, Mr Kalumbi said the total eight percent food and non-alcoholic beverage products accounted for 3.6 percentage points while non-food products accounted for a total of 4.4 percentage points.
Mr Kalumbi said the annual food inflation rate increased by a percentage point to seven percent in August from 6.9 percent while inflation for non-food decreased by a percentage point to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent.
“The annual inflation rate as measure by the all-consumer price index for August was recorded at eight percent. This means that on average prices increased by eight percent between August, 2013 and August, 2014,” he said.
He said a comparison of retail prices between July and August of a national average 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast mealie-meal decreased by 1.2 percent to K72.33 from K73.20 while a 25 kilogramme bag of roller mealie-meal decreased by 7.1 percent to K51.79 from K55.77.

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