• Trade deficit surged 37.9% to $256.9 million
  • Exports fell 3.6% to $515.5 million
  • Imports rose 7.1% to $772.4 million, with increases across various categories including food/beverages
  • Industrial supplies accounted for 30.4% of total imports, followed by capital goods at 17.6%

Harare- Zimbabwe's trade deficit for April widened to $256.9 million, a 37.9% increase from the $186.3 million deficit recorded in March 2024. This marked the fourth consecutive month of Zimbabwe trading in the red.

This is according to the latest data released by ZIMSTAT.

 The total value of exported goods decreased by 3.6% to $515.5 million, down from $534.7 million in March 2024. This decline was largely attributed to a drop in gold output from 23.6 kg in March to 20.8 kg, as well as spikes in imports across various categories.

Imports of food and beverages rose from US$64.8 million to US$83.6 million, transport and equipment imports increased from US$70.9 million to US$105.4 million, consumer goods imports doubled from US$33 million to US$66.1 million, and imports of goods not elsewhere specified jumped from US$9.6 million to US$14.8 million. As a result, total imports for April 2024 amounted to US$772.4 million, a 7.1% increase from US$721.0 million in March 2024.

Industrial supplies comprised 30.4% of the country's total imported goods, followed by capital goods at 17.6%.

The country's exports in April 2024 were valued at US$515.5 million, down from US$534.7 million in March 2024.

The top export destinations in April 2024 were South Africa (46% of exports), the United Arab Emirates (22%), and Mozambique (11%). Together, these three countries accounted for around 80% of the total export value of US$515.5 million.

On the import side, the top source countries in April 2024 were South Africa (42% of imports), China (16%), and the Bahamas (9%). These three countries made up around 67% of the total import value of US$772.4 million.

To achieve a positive trade balance, more needs to be done to attract investors. This will require addressing the country's political nepotism and tackling corruption issues.

Once these challenges are addressed, there will be a need to reduce taxes, lower surrender requirements, and employ monetary policy tools to boost value addition and increase export earnings.

As long as the country continues importing basic goods like toilet paper and basic foodstuffs, it will be difficult to achieve a positive trade position. Zimbabwe needs to focus on boosting domestic production and enhancing exports. Promoting the buying of local products can help safeguard local talent and support the production sector.


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