Trade Deficit Widens Sharply

Namibia’s trade deficit widened by 52,3% to N$26,2 billion in 2014 compared to the revised figure of last year in which the deficit was at N$17,2 billion.

The sharp increase in the deficit is owed to high import expenditures valued at N$90,6 billion compared to export earnings worth N$64,4 billion.

Expenditure on imports rose by 23,2 % to N$90,6 billion, up from N$73,5 billion as spending on vehicles, ships and floating structures and machinery and mechanical appliances increased to N$33,2 billion from N$19,9 billion a year earlier.

The overall value of exports rose only minimally by 14,3% to N$64,4 billion up from N$56,3 billion in the preceding year.

Total exports for 2014 was valued at N$64,5 billion of which the bulk valued at N$37,5 billion was destined to Botswana, South Africa, Switzerland, Korea and Angola. These markets accounted for 58,2% of total exports compared to 58,8 % a year earlier.

Botswana topped Namibia’s export destination with N$10,7 billion worth of goods exported to that country. This figure is due to diamonds that are sent to Botswana for sorting by De Beers.

Namibian exports to South Africa dropped by 29,9% while that of Switzerland rose gly by 44,3%.

The commodities which contributed to the g rise in exports to Switzerland were copper and ores.

Exports to other countries increased by 3% to N$44,8 billion from N$41,8 billion recorded in the previous year.

South Africa, Korea, China, Bahamas and Germany were the main suppliers of goods to Namibia in 2014.

The overall value of imports from these countries increased by 7,1% to N$37,5 billion when compared to N$31,1 billion a year ago. These markets accounted for 73,6 % of imports in 2014 compared to 66,5% in the previous year.

Imports from Korea increased gly to N$5,9 billion compared to N$175 million in the previous year, due to temporal importation of ships, boats and floating structures.

On the other hand, increases in the value of imports were noted from China at 61,3% and South Africa at 13,6%. In the case of China, the increase was mainly caused by electrical machinery and equipment, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances.

Imports from other countries outside the top five listed countries decreased by 7,1% to N$23,9 billion compared to N$24,6 billion recorded a year earlier.

Top Export Products

Precious stones ships and floating structures, ores, fish ships and copper dominated the list of Namibia’s exports.

Exports of ships, boats and floating structures rose sharply to N$8,9 billion from N$4,3 million in 2013 due to the temporary acquisition of floating and submersible drilling platforms in April (2014) from Korea and re-exported in June (2014). High external demand for copper by Switzerland and South Africa was the cause for a relatively sharp increase in copper exports by 139,02 % to N$3,5 billion compared to N$1,5 billion a year earlier. Diamond continues to dominate the export market with an increase of 11,6% mainly to Botswana, South Africa, Belgium and the USA. However, the value of fish exports mainly to Spain, South Africa, DRC and Mozambique was constant.

In terms of economic regions, Namibia’s export destinations in 2014 were the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Southern African Development Community, the European Union and European Free Trade Association. Imports were also mostly sourced from the same economic regions with SACU dominating followed by the European Union, Brazil, Russia, India, China and the European Free Trade Association.

Source : The Namibian