Business

Zambia trade deficit now over K4.45bn

TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA’S international merchandise trade has continued to post a deficit due to lower exports, now standing at K4.45 billion as at end of July.
This means that the country has been constantly importing more than it has been exporting in nominal terms.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) notes that Zambia’s trade deficit widened by 33.3 percent from K355.4 million in June to K473.9 million in July due to the country’s continued increase of imports.
CSO director of census and statistics John Kalumbi said the country’s major import product by category in July were capital goods accounting for a share of 37.7 percent and consumer goods which registered 27.5 percent.
Other products are intermediate goods and raw materials accounting for 18.7 percent and 16.1 percent respectively.
Mr Kalumbi said at the CSO monthly briefing yesterday that Zambia’s major source of imports were South Africa, which accounted for 34.7 percent, followed by Democratic Republic of Congo, which registered 14.3 percent, China at 6.5 percent while Kuwait and India collectively accounted for 10.6 percent.
Meanwhile, there has been a decrease of 4.9 percent in the total value of metal exports from about K4.2 billion in June to almost K3.9 billion in July.
Mr Kalumbi said the overall contribution of metal and their products to the total export earnings in July and June averaged 71.1 percent.
He said the volume of copper exhibited a fluctuating trend between January and July with the highest volume of 86,516.3 tonnes recorded in January and the lowest volume of 66,161.5 tonnes in April.
He, however, said the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange registered a steady increase between January and March from US$4,462.75 per tonne to US$ 4,947.55 per tonne while in June the price declined to US$4,630.64 per tonne before increasing to US$4,821.42 in July.
“Since copper accounts for the largest proportion of traditional exports, any change in the volume and price has a direct bearing on the performance of the traditional exports,” he said.
He said non-traditional exports (NTEs) also declined by 7.1 percent from about K1.7 billion in June to almost K1.6 billion in July.


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