Zim’s trade deficit narrows to US$16.2 million, exports up 9.5% in May

  • Value of exports scaled up by 9.5% while imports only increased by 2.6%
  • Uptick in exports driven by tobacco marketing season
  • Nickel mattes, ores and concentrates still number one export however

Harare – Zimbabwe’s trade deficit is reported to have narrowed to US$16.2 million in May 2021, scaling down from US$45.5 million recorded in April and driven by an uptick in export earnings especially from tobacco.

According to data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), the total value of exports in May was US$468.8 million, significant of a 9.5% increase on the April figure which was US$444.7 million.

Meanwhile, the total cumulative value of imports slightly scaled up by 2.6% to close the month at US$503.1 million compared to US$490.1 million in the prior month

The agency said, “The increase in total export earnings in May 2021 was attributed to tobacco export earnings as the tobacco selling season started in April 2021.”

In the month under review tobacco accounted for 22% of total exports (US$103.1 million) from only 9% in April (US$40 million). The agricultural commodity was only topped by Nickel ores and concentrates which accounted for 24% of total earnings (US$112.5 million).


On the other hand, machinery continued to dominate the imports book, accounting for 16% of the total value of imports in both April and May followed by fuels which were responsible for 13% of the externalized foreign currency.

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