Namibia trade deficit declining, statistics agency
According to official statistics from Namibia Statistics Agency, the country's trade deficit for the first quarter of 2017 was estimated at N$3,185 million.
Figures showed that exports fell by N$5,508 million, from N$21,963 million in 2016Q1 to N$16,905 million in quarter one of 2017, which represents a 23.0 per cent decline. During the same period imports decreased by N$2,321 million or 10.4% to N$20,089 million in quarter one of 2017.
Namibia Statistics Agency said that the persistent deficits are mostly driven by Namibia's high demand for high-valued manufactured commodities and machinery from the rest of the world, while exporting commodities of low value or primary goods, not including diamonds.
The report stated that Namibia's export market was led by South Africa, Export Processing Zone (EPZ), Norway, Botswana and Switzerland, absorbing 56.8 % of Namibia's total (N$16,905 million) exports. However, exports to these markets weakened, falling by N$6,268 million (39.5%) compared to N$15,861 million recorded in the same period last year. The share was reduced from 72.2%.
South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, China and Bulgaria emerged as the main sources of imports for Namibia during 2017Q1 and made up 78.2% of Namibia's total import bill from the rest of the world. Namibia continued to rely on RSA with imports from that country accounting for 55.9% of the total import bill.
In 2017 quarter one, diamonds, fish, vessels, copper ores and copper cathodes were the leading export commodities. The annual decline experienced in exports were mostly reflected in the value of copper ores, copper cathodes and vessels.