The country’s trade deficit shrunk 37 per cent in October last year to $144 million after total exports increased by 25 per cent to $449 million largely driven by a 300 per cent vault in tobacco shipments.
Between January and September 2018, exports amounted to $3,79 billion, against $3,44 billion recorded during the same period in 2017. Imports in the same period rose to $5,87 billion from $4,86 billion in 2016.
Cotton exports, which grew by 34 per cent and nickel shipments, which increased by 26 per cent, also contributed to the significant decrease in the trade deficit, offsetting the weighty 44 per cent fall in gold exports.
In its monthly report, for October the RBZ said:
Export growth was, in large part, underpinned by the substantial increase in exports of flue-cured tobacco (302,8 per cent); cotton (33,9 per cent); and nickel ores (25,8 per cent).
On the back of the substantial increase in merchandise exports, the country’s trade deficit improved by 37,4 per cent, from $230,9 million in September 2018 to $144,4 million in October 2018.
The report further reveals that the country’s main export markets during the month of October 2018 were South Africa, (63,2 per cent); Mozambique (10,1); the United Arab Emirates, (9,8); Zambia (1,5); Belgium (1,4); Botswana (0,6) and Kenya (0,5).