Zambia’s trade deficit up by 33pc


ZAMBIA’S trade deficit for the month of July 2016 went up by 33.3 percent owing to more imports than exports, says Central Statistical Office (CSO) director of census and statistics, John Kalumbi.

Speaking during the presentation of the August 2016 statistical bulletin in Lusaka, Mr Kalumbi said Zambia’s trade deficit in July 2016 was K473.9 million from K355.4 million recorded in June 2016, representing a 33.3 percent increase.

“This means that the country imported more in July 2016 than it exported in nominal terms,” he said.

Mr Kalumbi also said there had been a decrease of 4.9 percent in the total value of metal exports from K4,171.0 million in June to K3,965.0 million in July 2016.

He said the overall contribution of metals and their products to the total export earnings in July and June 2016 averaged to 71.1 percent.

“Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) decreased by 7.1 percent from K1,721.3 million in June to K1,599.1 million in July 2016. The share of NTEs recorded an average of 29.0 percent in revenue earnings between June and July 2016.

“The volume of copper exhibited a fluctuating trend between January and July 2016, with the highest volume of 86,516.3 metric tonnes recorded in January 2016 and the lowest volume of 66,161.5 metric tonnes recorded in April 2016,” he said.

Mr Kalumbi said prices for copper which largely accounted for traditional exports registered a steady increase on the London Metal Exchange (LME) between January and March 2016 from US$4,462.75 per to US$4,947.55 per metric tonne.

He said the commodity’s price however in June 2016 declined to US$4,630.64 per metric tonne before increasing to US$4,821.42 per metric tonne in July 2016.

“Since this product accounts for the largest weight/proportion of traditional exports, any change in the volume and price/value has a direct bearing on the performance of traditional txports,” he said.