Pandemic indirectly improves Namibia’s trade deficit

Less imports imply less funds flowing out of the country, while more exports imply more funds flowing into the country and vice versa.

18 November 2020 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Namibia’s total imports declined by 6% to 8.2 billion in August 2020 compared to N$8.8 billion recorded in August 2019.

Namibia’s exports stood at N$6.3 billion resulting in an improved trade deficit of N$1.9 billion compared to a much higher deficit of N$2.9 billion recorded in August 2019, according to the Namibia Statistic Agency (NSA) in their recent Namibia Trade Statistics Bulletin.

South Africa, Zambia, China, Bulgaria and DRC were the main suppliers of the most needed import requirements for Namibia and accounted for a combined share of 85.5% of total imports.

South Africa remained at the top as Namibia’s largest import market with a share of 41.9% of the value of all goods received into the country during August 2020. Zambia followed in the second position with a contribution of 27.2% to total imports from the rest of the world.

China accounted for 6.8% of Namibia’s total imports in August 2020, subsequently ranking that country the third largest source of imports into the domestic economy. Finally, Bulgaria and DRC rounded off the top five list with contributions of 5.7% and 3.9%, respectively, NSA pointed out.

Commodities

The top five commodities that were imported into Namibia jointly accounted for 48.2% of total import with non-ferrous metals accounting for the largest share of 29.1%. Metalliferous ores and metal scrap followed in the second place with a share of 6.4%, NSA says.

Vehicles were ranked third with 5.9% of the total import and finally miscellaneous manufactured articles, and petroleum and petroleum products followed with contributions of 3.4% each.

Non-ferrous metals were mostly imported from Zambia and DRC while most of metalliferous ores and metal scrap imported into Namibia came from Bulgaria and South Africa, NSA added.

Domestic demand for vehicles were mainly met by South Africa and United Kingdom. China and South Africa supplied the most needed miscellaneous manufactured articles. Finally, Tunisia and South Africa satiated Namibia’s demand for petroleum and petroleum products, NSA says.

Economic integration

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region emerged as the largest source of imports for Namibia accounting for 42.7% of all goods imported which were mainly vehicles.

Copper was responsible for the high value of imports from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which had a share of 31.3% of total imports and hence making it the second largest source of imports into the country.

Equally, Southern African Development Community (SADC) excluding the SACU region accounted for 31.3% of Namibia’s total import bill, followed by the European Union (EU) and Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in the fourth and fifth positions with 8.7% and 8%, respectively, NSA pointed out.

Imports from SADC excluding SACU comprised mainly of copper, while ores were responsible for the high import value from the EU. Furthermore, miscellaneous manufactured articles were the main commodities imported from BRIC during the period under review, NSA emphasised.

Transport

Goods that entered Namibia via road were valued at N$6.4 billion representing 77.7% of all goods imported in the country. In addition, 21.2% of the goods that reached the country came by sea and the remaining 1% arrived by air.

In terms of tonnage, about 178 531 tons of goods that reached Namibia came in by road while 109 675 tons reached the country by sea. A further 118 and 60 tons of goods were imported into the country via air and rail, respectively, NSA [email protected]

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