Commodities drive NamibiaÔÇÖs exports

Namibia’s exports  top export destinations are South Africa, Switzerland, USA, Angola and Spain while top export commodities consisted of ores, fish, precious stones, zinc and boilers Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) latest trade statistics show.
The export markets accounted for 55.7% of total earnings, down from 62% the previous month and up from the 47.6 % a year ago.  “Export earnings from these markets advanced by 4.8% to N$2.17b when compared to N$2.09b a month ago,” NSA noted
NSA also revealed that commodities accounted for 65.1% of total export earnings, up from 62.4% a month earlier, and from 59.9% a year ago.
Revenue from exported commodities also rose by 21.6% to N$ 2.6m from N$2.1m the previous month and N$2.7m last year.
The trade statistics also noted that the overall export value of boilers and live animals grew by 17.9% to N$269m compared to N$ 228m a month earlier.
“Growth in export of live animals emanates from high external demand by South Africa and Zambia that rose by 36.3% to N$ 46m compared to N$34m a month earlier. Furthermore, the high demand of boilers by SA and Angola was a cause for an increase in export of boilers by 50.2% to 156m from N$ 104m a month ago,”NSA noted.
As trade relation between China and Namibia keep strengthening,  the report also shows that a once off shipment of zinc valued at N$206m to China contributed to the growth of overall exports.
Growth was also reflected in the sale of salt, lime, cement, non food items, and diamonds amongst others.
NSA added that export of vehicles slipped by 18.2% to N$192m from N$235m last month as demand from Angola weakened by 30.3% to N$113m from N$163m a month ago.
Despite improvements in export earning the country still has a trade deficit. “The deficit reached N$2,5b in March, growing by 35.1% from a monthly revised deficit of N$1.8b in February. The recorded deficit is the largest since December 2013 and underscores Namibia’s dependency on imports and her vulnerability to any slowdown in supply from the largest trading partner South Africa. On a yearly basis, the deficit increased 187.1% to N$ 859m,” NSA noted.
NSA also indicated through the  April Namibia Consumer Price Index (CPI) that the annual inflation as at April stood at 5.9%.
Month on month inflation rate for April  stood at 1.0% recording an increase of 0.4%.
The biggest contributor to overall inflation for the period under review was food and non alcoholic beverages, which contributed 24.7% to overall inflation, followed by the transport sector with 22.7%. Housing, water and electricity contributed 16.6% whilst alcoholic beverages contributed 14.9%.