Zambia has recorded a trade surplus of K755 million, the second highest of the year, triggered by huge exports of intermediate and consumer goods, Central Statistical Office (CSO) data shows.

According to provisional CSO data, Zambia has recorded a massive trade surplus in March, 2019, reversing losses sustained having incurred a trade deficit in February of around K309 million.

The country’s trade surplus of K754.9 million is the second highest recorded after a K938 million trade surplus was posted in January.

A trade surplus means that exports exceed a country’s imports.

“Zambia records a trade surplus of K754.9 million in March, 2019, from a trade deficit of K309.0 million recorded in February, 2019. This trade surplus means that the country exported more than it imported in nominal terms. Imports decreased slightly by 3.8 per cent from K7,294.8 million in February, 2019, to K7,018.5 million in March, 2019, this decrease is mainly attributed to the decrease in the imports of intermediate goods and capital goods by 8.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively,” CSO stated in April’s monthly bulletin, which also showed the annual rate of inflation peaking to 7.7 per cent this month.

“Exports increased significantly by 11.3 per cent from K6,985.8 million in February, 2019, to K7,773.4 million in March, 2019. The increase in the value of exports is mainly attributed to the increase in exports of intermediate goods and consumer goods by 12.6 per cent and 21.8 per cent, respectively. Therefore, the net effect of these dynamics in trade was the trade surplus.”

Zambia’s increase in exports mainly derived from intermediary goods, which comprised of copper anodes and cathodes, data shows.

“Zambia’s major export products in March, 2019, were from the intermediate goods category (mainly comprising copper anodes for electrolytic refining and cathodes of refined copper) accounting for 83.2 per cent,” stated CSO.

“Exports from the consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods categories, collectively accounted for 16.8 per cent of total exports in March, 2019.”

Switzerland remained the largest market for Zambia’s total exports last month, accounting for 42.8 per cent, followed by Asia, SADC and the COMESA region.