Namibia has recorded a negative trade balance in the first, three months of the year the latest national accounts figures released by the Namibian Statistics Agency indicate.
According to the country’s bureau of statistics, the Namibian Statistics Agency Namibia’s trade balance remained in a deficit of N$2.4 billion, widening from a deficit of N$1.8 billion recorded in January 2021 and narrowing from the level N$3.5 billion registered in February 2020.
NSA Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni said that the country’s total merchandise trade declined to N$13.9 billion, which is 18.4 percent less than its level of N$17.1 billion in January 2021 and lower by 1.1 percent from its February 2020 level of N$14.1 billion.
The Namibian dollar is pegged at one to one with the South African rand.
Shimuafeni however revealed that China has kept its top position as Namibia’s export destination for February while South Africa maintained its first position as Namibia’s largest source of imports.
According to Shimuafeni the composition of the export basket to China and other countries mainly comprised of minerals such as copper, pearls and precious stones (diamonds), non-monetary gold and copper concentrates.
“Fish was the only non-mineral products among the top five exports. On the other hand, the import basket comprised mainly of copper, petroleum and petroleum products, motor vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and medical and pharmaceutical products,” he said.
The NSA said Namibia’s February 2021 trade statistics indicated that re-exports deteriorated, falling by 22.7 percent month-on-month but improved by 53.6 percent year-on-year.
“Copper took the largest share of goods that were re-exported, accounting for 62.4 percent of total re-exports, destined mainly to China, Netherland, Australia, India, and Hong Kong,” he said.
Key among the challenges faced by the Namibian economy is stunted growth brought about by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic which affected key institutions including tourism mining and manufacturing.