Zambia has recorded a trade surplus of K422 million, an increase by 273.8 per cent between November and December, 2019, the fifth highest of last year, triggered by huge exports of intermediate goods, Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA) data shows.
According to provisional ZSA data, formerly Central Statistical Office (CSO), the country’s trade surplus was as a result of a decrease in imports.
The country’s trade surplus of K422 million was the fifth highest recorded last year after Zambia posted an over K1 billion trade surplus last January, the highest for the period under review.
A trade surplus means that exports have exceeded imports.
“Zambia’s trade surplus increased by 273.8 per cent from K112.9 million in November, 2019, to K422.0 million in December, 2019. This trade surplus means that the country exported more than it imported in nominal terms. Both imports and exports recorded decreases, though the decrease in imports outweighed that of exports, resulting into a rise in the surplus. Exports, which mainly comprise of domestically-produced goods, decreased by 1.9 per cent from K8,565.3 million in November, 2019, to K8,401.3 million in December, 2019. This decrease was mainly attributed to the 42.2 per cent decrease in export earnings from the consumer goods category,” ZSA stated in its January monthly bulletin, which also showed the annual rate of inflation rising to 12.5 per cent last month.
“Imports decreased by 5.6 per cent from K8,452.4 million in November, 2019, to K7,979.3 million in December, 2019. This decrease in imports was mainly attributed to the 13.4 per cent decline in the import bill for the capital goods category. The Traditional Exports (TEs) earnings increased by 9.7 per cent from K5,836.3 million in November, 2019, to K6,402.7 million in December, 2019. In terms of share in total exports, TEs recorded a 76.2 per cent in revenue earnings in December, 2019. Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) earnings decreased by 26.8 per cent from K2,729 million in November, 2019, to K1,998.6 million in December, 2019. In terms of share in total exports, NTEs recorded a 23.8 per cent in revenue earnings in December, 2019.”
Zambia’s huge exports in intermediate goods mainly included copper anodes.
“Zambia’s major export products in December, 2019, were from the intermediate goods category (mainly comprising copper anodes for electrolytic refining and cathodes of refined copper) accounting for 84.6 per cent. Exports from the consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods categories, collectively accounted for 15.4 per cent of total exports in December, 2019,” the bulletin read.
And the volume of refined copper exported in December, 2019, increased by eight per cent from 67,415.2 metric tonnes in November to 72, 826.9 metric tonnes.
“The volume of refined copper exported in December, 2019, increased by 8.0 per cent from 67,415.2 metric tonnes in November to 72,826.9 metric tonnes. The copper prices on LME market for the corresponding months increased by 3.5 per cent from US $5,859.7 per metric tonnes in November, 2019, to US $ 6,062.4 per metric tonne in December, 2019,” stated ZSA, and maintained that Switzerland was the major export destination in December, 2019, which accounted for 39.8 per cent of the country’s total export earnings.
The main export product to Switzerland was copper anodes.