Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$587.3 million in April, up 5.3 percent from March with gold, tobacco, platinum group of metals dominating the export basket, latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) show.
Export earnings were US$557.6 million in March.
Data for April 2022 shows that Zimbabwe’s main exports were semi manufactured gold at 30.1 percent, nickel mattes including platinum group of minerals accounting for 22.8 percent, nickel ores and concentrates at 14.7 percent.
Tobacco accounted for 11.5 percent, industrial diamonds 5.0 percent, ferro-chromium 4.7 percent, platinum unwrought or in powder form 2.4 percent and coke and semi coke 1.4 percent.
“During the month of April 2022, the country exported 2 963 kilogrammes of semi manufactured gold valued at US$176.9 million, compared to 2 200 kilogrammes valued at US$135.5 million in March 2022. In the same month of April 2022, the country exported 1,150.1 tonnes of nickel mattes valued at US$133.9 million, compared to 1,009.5 tonnes valued at US$110.2 million in March 2022,” the data shows.
“Besides the major minerals usually exported, Zimbabwe also exported 103 kilogrammes of industrial diamonds valued at US$29.2 million in April 2022, compared to 148 kilogrammes valued at US$45.2 million in March, 2021.”
On the other hand, Zimstat said during the same period, imports decreased by 10.7 percent to US$637.2 million from US$713 million the previous month.
Zimbabwe’s major imports remained fuels and oil products which stood at 22.1 percent in April 2022, compared to 17.1 percent in March 2022.
This, Zimstat said, was followed by machinery and equipment at 13.1 percent while other imports in April included vehicles (8.3 percent), plastics (4.5 percent), cereals mostly rice (3.6 percent), pharmaceuticals (2.7 percent), and fertilizers (1.6 percent).
Zimstat said South Africa remained Zimbabwe’s major trading partner.
“In April 2022, exports to South Africa were 40.6 percent compared to 42.9 percent in March 2022. Exports to United Arab Emirates constituted 34.1 percent in April 2022 compared to 31.3 percent in March, 2022.
“The value of exports to China increased to 9.9 percent in April 2022, from 5.9 percent in March the same year. Exports to Mozambique constituted 4.3 percent in April 2022 being a decline from 7.1 percent in March 2022. The proportion of exports to Belgium was 1.2 percent in April 2022, compared to 2.1 percent in March, 2022,” said Zimstat.
“The proportion of imports from South Africa was 43.8 percent in April 2022, compared to 42.0 percent in March 2022. Furthermore, the proportion of the value of imports from Singapore increased to 16.4 percent in April 2022, compared to 12.6 percent in March 2022. Imports from China increased to 13.6 percent in April 2022 from 11.6 percent in March 2022.”
Other imports, Zimstat said, came from Mozambique (2.8 percent), Mauritius (2.6 percent), India (2.4 percent), (United Emirates (1.4 percent), Zambia (2.6 percent), United Kingdom (1.2 percent) and the United States (0.7 percent).
Analysts contend that the strong showing in April is indicative of improved local production, a key development as Zimbabwe aims for upper-middle income status by 2030 anchored by a strong export-oriented economy.
In 2021, according to Zimstat Zimbabwe’s exports between January and December 2021 stood at US$6.03 billion, up 37.3 percent compared to US$4.39 billion recorded in 2020.
The US$6 billion-dollar mark, breached by local exports was the highest ever recorded figure and also exceeded the 10 percent growth milestone required by the National Export Strategy.
The growth in exports is also a positive marker for the Second Republic’s re-engagement and engagement drive.