18 Feb 2014 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 18 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibia's trade balance recorded a deficit of N.dollars 5,2 billion in December 2013.
This was revealed in the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA)'s Monthly Trade Statistics Bulletin of December, availed to Nampa on Friday.
The bulletin indicated that the December 2013 trade balance widened by 174 per cent when compared to the revised figures of November, in which the deficit was quoted to be N.dollars 1,9 billion.
In the corresponding month of the preceding year, a deficit of N.dollars 614 million was recorded.
The deficit in December was due to high import expenditure valued at N.dollars 8,4 billion, compared to export earnings valued at N.dollars 3,1 billion.
The increase in production of the Tsumeb Copper Smelter led to a rise in domestic demand for ore, which contributed to high import expenditure for the period under review.
According to the bulletin, export earnings in December declined by 28,6 per cent to N.dollars 3,1 billion as the revenue of sales to Botswana and South Africa fell sharply, compared to N.dollars 4,4 billion the month before.
The decline in the value of exported diamonds by N.dollars 1 billion also affected overall exports to Botswana.
The report indicated that the expenditure on imports showed an increase of 32,5 per cent, from N.dollars 6,3 billion in November to N.dollars 8,3 billion in December 2013.
When compared to the same month of the preceding year, imports increased by 88,3 per cent from N.dollars 4,4 billion, it said.
South Africa, France, Angola, Switzerland and Botswana were Namibias main export destinations for December 2013.
These five countries accounted for 61,7 per cent of total export earnings. The overall export earnings from these countries, however, declined by 28,6 per cent to N.dollars 1,9 billion from N.dollars 2,7 billion in November, while it increased by 8,9 per cent to N.dollars 1,7 billion a year earlier.
The decline in exports was due to low demand for domestic commodities by Botswana, Switzerland and South Africa, which fell by 55,9 per cent to N.dollars 1 billion, compared to N.dollars 2,3 billion the month before and by 30,1 per cent from N.dollars 1,4 billion on a yearly basis, the Trade Statistics Bulletin stated.
On the other hand, there was strong growth in export revenue, which resulted from a once-off shipment to France on both monthly and annual basis. While exports to Angola and Zambia declined on a month-on-month basis, they recorded significant growth on an annual basis.
The main countries from which Namibia imported goods during the month of December 2013 were South Africa, Switzerland, Peru, Bulgaria and China.
Namibias import expenditure from other countries was insignificant in December 2013, accounting for a mere 3,7 per cent, compared to 13 per cent recorded in the previous month, and 12.2 per cent a year ago.
In the same month, imports of ore from Peru and Bulgaria increased significantly.
Notably, Peru and Bulgaria moved from the bottom of the list to the third and fourth positions as Namibias important sources of imports.