- February 12, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe exported US$985 million worth of mattes in 2020 beating gold which was at US$982 million to become the country’s biggest foreign currency earner statistical data released recently has shown.
By Rudairo Mapuranga
The country exported goods worth US$4.39 billion in 2020, a marginal 2.7 percent increase from 2019 with US$4.28 billion, in a tough year in which COVID-19 hit commodity demand and cut off trade links.
According to the stats, the mining sector through minerals still, dominate exports accounting for 73 percent of all total exports.
According to The National Trade Development and Promotion Organisation of Zimbabwe (ZimTrade) Gold lost its number 1 spot on official exports to nickel mattes which are really PGM mattes.
Traditionally, gold has been Zimbabwe’s biggest export. This changed in 2020, a year in which gold deliveries fell by 31 percent to reach 19.1 tonnes which is the lowest output in six years.
“For now, nickel mattes which are really PGM mattes are the biggest exports. In 2020, Zimbabwe exported US$985 million worth of mattes, just beating gold at US$982 million into second place. Nickel ores and concentrates earned US$612 million, diamonds did US$141 million, ferroalloys US$140 million and platinum brought in US$134 million.”
Despite all the government rhetoric over the years about value addition, Zimbabwe’s exports are still made up mostly of primary commodities, largely minerals. Of the US$4.4 billion earned from exports, mineral exports accounted for US$3.2 billion, or a massive 73% of all our exports.
According to ZimTrade, Zimbabwe exported more processed food in 2020 than it did in 2019. Exports rose 17.96% to US$115 million from US$98 million in 2019.
These exports were dominated by sugar, which earned US$76 million. Others included fruit juices (US$5.6 million) and pastry products (US$3.7 million).
“The export promotion agency, this growth was due to access into new markets. Zimbabwean producers increased investment in better technologies and adopted global standards and accreditations on food safety and traceability.”
Zimbabwe’s major export destinations in 2020 were South Africa (39 percent ), UAE (20 percent), Mozambique (9 percent ), Uganda (3 percent), Belgium (2 percent ), and Zambia, Botswana, and Kenya each accounting for 1 percent. Exports to Mozambique grew 15 percent from US$354 million in 2019 to US$408 million in 2020.