Namibia gained billions in export earnings

Mining activities showing green shoots

05 August 2021 | Economics

We believe as mines restart production after care and maintenance programmes are completed, the trade deficit should improve. Simonis Storm (SS)

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Namibia gained about N$3.2 billion in export earnings in June 2021. The value of exports stood at N$8.6 billion when compared to N$5.4 billion recorded in May 2021. Similarly, when compared to its level of N$7.6 billion in June 2020, exports rose by 14.1%, trade statistics released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicated.

Imports stood at N$9.6 billion, strengthening by 11.4% on monthly basis while an annual increase of 25% was observed from its June 2020 level of N$7.2 billion.

Subsequent to the developments in exports and imports, Namibia’s total merchandize trade with the rest of the world grew by 29.6% from its May 2021 level of N$14.1 billion to N$18.2 billion recorded in June 2021. Similarly, total trade registered further improvement of 24.3% when compared to the N$14.8 billion recorded in June 2020, NSA pointed out.

During the month under review, Namibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$987 million indicating a narrowing gap when compared to the deficit of N$3.2 billion and a surplus N$338 million recorded in May 2021 and June 2020, respectively, NSA said.

Markets

Namibia’s top five export partners largely remained the same as in the previous month with Belgium making it to the list as a new entrant. These top five markets accounted for 73.6% of Namibia’s total exports, up from the 60.6% in May 2021 and from 55% recorded June 2020, respectively.

China emerged as the main export market for the country, absorbing 35.4% of all goods exported, ahead of South Africa in the second place whose market share of Namibia’s exports stood at 14.9% of total exports. Netherlands claimed the third position to account for 11.4% while Belgium and Spain occupied the fourth and fifth positions with respective shares of 6.5% and 5.4%, NSA said.

Uranium was Namibia’s largest export commodity during the month under review, accounting for 33.3% of total exports mainly destined to China with a small amount absorbed by Canada. This was followed by copper which accounted for 25.8% of total exports destined mostly to Netherlands, China and Belgium. Precious stones mainly diamonds and fish occupied the third position after absorbing 9.8 percent each of Namibia’s total exports, NSA added.

According to Simonis Storm, “we believe as mines restart production after care and maintenance programmes are completed, the trade deficit should improve owing to increased global factory orders, positive business sentiment and manufacturing expansion signalled by elevated global manufacturing purchasing managers indices. Elevated commodity prices are also expected to favour Namibia’s export earnings going forward.”

Transport

During the month of June 2021, exports amounting to N$6.3 billion, representing 73% of total exports left the country by sea. This translated into an increase of 102.5% when compared to the value of N$3.1 billion of goods exported in May 2021. Furthermore, an increase of 107.9% was noted when compared to its level of N$3 billion recorded in June 2020. Air and road transportation accounted for 13.7% and 13.2% of total exports, respectively, NSA pointed out.

In terms of tonnage, the month under review saw about 115 998 tons of goods leaving Namibia by sea. This is an improvement from its May 2021 level of 99 492 tons and from the level of 107 803 tons registered in June 2020. About 105 202 tons of goods left the country by road compared to 78 030 tons registered in the previous month and from 101 746 tons recorded in the same month last year. Whereas only 267 tons left the country by air after registering 300 tons in May 2021 and 23 tons in June 2020, NSA said.