- March 26, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe recorded its lowest monthly exports in nine months after January export earnings amounted to just US$282,9 million with gold exports at their lowest since November 2018.
According to figures released by ZimStat, the January export out-turn is only higher than the US$200,4 million worth of exports recorded in April last year.
The figure also compares unfavourably to the US$397,7 million worth of exports recorded in January 2020 or US$292,6 million in January 2019.
The January 2021 export earnings are also the third-lowest in the last 12 months, a period which has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
If this trend continues, it might be of major concern to authorities banking on increased export earnings for currency stability.
The huge drop in export earnings can be attributed to a significant drop in exports of Nickel Mattes which stood at US$39,5 million, the lowest in 12 months down from US$149 million worth of Nickel Mattes exported earnings recorded in December 2020. In January 2020, US$48,9 million worth of Nickel Mattes were exported.
Gold export earnings also took a huge knock with semi-manufactured gold earning the country just US$55,7 million down from US$105 million the previous month of December. January 2021’s gold export earnings are also lower than those of January 2020 at US$104 million. January 2020 was however not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as has been the case this time around.
We have to go back to November 2018 when gold exports earned US$47,5 million to find earnings that were below the US$55 million recorded in January.
Tobacco was also another export that significantly dropped to US$34,6 million from US$74,6 million in December last year.
The January 2021 tobacco earnings out-turn was below that of January 2020 at US$74,8 million.
Meanwhile, the January 2021 import bill of US$460,3 million though lower than the December bill of US$527 million was more than enough to send the country into a trade deficit of US$178 million.
The January 2021 import bill was the third highest in 12 months.
Maize imports amounting to US$26 million was the biggest import bill for the month. The country has imported maize worth US$300,4 million in the last 12 months.
Diesel followed with US$19,5 million while soyabean, rice, electricity, petrol among others had import bills above US$7 million each.