Namibia's import bill increases: NSA

16 Mar 2017 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 16 MAR (NAMPA) - Namibia’s import bill has grown by 13 per cent to N.dollars 29.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has revealed.
The fourth quarter runs from October to December.
Over the same period in 2015, the import bill stood at N.dollars 25.8 billion.
The NSA’s trade statistics report issued Wednesday indicates that imports were mainly sourced from South Africa at a value of N.dollars 16.6 billion, Norway (N.dollars 2.4 billion), Bahamas (N.dollars 2.1 billion), Botswana (N.dollars 1.4 billion) and Zambia (N.dollars 2.0 billion).
Most imported commodities were vessels, mineral fuel and oils, boilers and vehicles.
The export bill increased with 2.0 per cent to N.dollars 15.1 billion, compared to N.dollars 14.8 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2015.
The leading export markets were South Africa with N.dollars 2.8 billion; Botswana (N.dollars 2.4 billion); Switzerland (N.dollars 2.0 billion); export-processing zone (EPZ) (N.dollars 1.0 billion) and Italy (N.dollars 0.8 billion).
The largest export commodities were minerals such as diamonds, copper ore, copper cathodes and zinc; and fish.
“In terms of economic regions, over 39 per cent of Namibia’s total value of goods exported were destined to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), making SACU Namibia’s largest export destination in the fourth quarter of 2016,” says the report.
The European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) occupied the second and third positions, registering 25 per cent and 15.2 per cent respectively.
SACU also remained the largest source of domestic imports, accounting for over 70 per cent of total imports, while EFTA ranked second with 11.7 per cent and third was the group of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) with 5.2 per cent share of the total import bill.
The NSA said that during the fourth quarter of 2016, the trade deficit has grown with 29 per cent to N.dollars 14.2 billion, compared to N.dollars 11 billion in the same period in 2015.
“The growth in the trade deficit resulted to a stronger growth experienced in import expenditure compared to a minimum growth observed in export revenue,” reads the report.