Zimbabwe trade deficit narrows in Q1

Zimbabwe's trade deficit narrowed in the first quarter after a drop was experienced on both sides of the trade matrixes. According to figures from Zimstat, imports were down to $1.32 billion from $1.6 billion in the same comparable period last year mainly due to a cocktail of import restrictions placed on selected products by Government, weak industry demand for raw materials, continued weakness in the South African rand, the country's main trading partner (traders are now paying less to get goods from the country), a decline in the value of petroleum products due to lower crude oil prices and troubles in the external payment systems.

Exports were at $625.96 million, a decrease of 12.6 percent from $716.6 million last year mainly affected by the low start to the tobacco selling season and weak commodity prices amid tepid global economic recovery while the strong US dollar has seen products from the country less competitive.

On the imports, the country imported almost $1 million worth of apples, $21.85 million of wheat, $51.16 million of maize as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of the El-Nino induced drought, $15.75 million rice while the cooking oil industry imported $24.9 million of crude soya bean oil.

ZimTrade is currently pushing for export reforms while the organisation is at the forefront of calling for the addressing of trade facilitation issues for the country to realise an export economic growth.

Some countries in the region (eg South Africa), provide export incentives to facilitate their companies to do business across borders.

Source: allafrica.com

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