Namibian trade records a deficit of N$4 billion

Stefanus Nashama

In November 2023, Namibia’s trade balance revealed a deficit of N$4 billion, as reported by Alex Shimuafeni, the Statistician-General at the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), in the Namibia Merchandise Trade Statistics Bulletin for November 2023.

Shimuafeni noted that the N$4 billion deficit, while showing improvement compared to the N$4.5 billion deficit recorded in October 2023, also represented a worsening when compared to the N$2.8 billion deficit from November 2022.

China emerged as Namibia’s largest market for exports, while South Africa retained its position as the country’s primary supplier.

Shimuafeni elaborated on the composition of Namibia’s export basket for November 2023, which was predominantly composed of minerals such as uranium, precious stones (diamonds), non-monetary gold, copper, and articles of copper. Fish remained the sole non-mineral product among the top five exported items.

In contrast, the import basket for the same period was mainly comprised of petroleum oils, inorganic chemical elements, civil engineering equipment, and motor vehicles for the transportation of goods and medicaments.

The bulletin highlighted a noteworthy 73.0 percent improvement in the country’s export earnings, increasing from N$6.8 billion in October 2023 to N$11.8 billion in November 2023.

However, the import bill for November also surged by 39.7 percent, rising from N$11.3 billion in the preceding month, resulting in an increased trade deficit of N$4 billion.

The document further revealed that Namibia’s exports continued to rise steadily, reaching N$93.6 billion for the first eleven months of 2023, compared to N$88.1 billion during the same period in 2022.

The monthly increase in exports was driven by significant growth in precious stones (diamonds) by N$1.9 billion, uranium by N$1.5 billion, fruit and nuts by N$458 million, non-monetary gold by N$444 million, and copper and articles of copper by N$366 million.

Conversely, the monthly increase in imports saw oil rise by N$2.4 billion, inorganic chemical elements by N$262 million, electrical power machinery by N$213 million, and medicaments (including veterinary) and civil engineering and contractors’ equipment increase by N$188 million and N$173 million, respectively.

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