By Hilary Mare
THE United Kingdom (UK) has emerged as the largest destination for Namibian exports in the second quarter (Q2), constituting a market share of 25 percent with South Africa ranked second with 16 percent share.
China came third gulping up 13 percent of Namibia’s exports, the latest quarterly trade statistics bulletin released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has revealed.
Botswana and Belgium absorbed 8 percent of the Namibia’s total exports each.
Among the largest export partners, the highest growth rates were recorded with United Kingdom (4,839 percent), China (727 percent), Belgium (144 percent), and Botswana (13 percent).
Exports to South Africa, Namibia’s largest trading partner, grew by 11 percent.
The trade statistics bulletin shows that Namibia’s overall exports amounted to N$22.792 billion when compared to N$14.191 billion and N$19.052 billion recorded in q2-2017 and q1-2018 respectively.
Imports stood at N$24.025 billion after recording N$20.652 billion and N$28.359 billion in q2-2017 and q1-2018 respectively.
Subsequently, Namibia posted a negative trade balance valued at N$1.232 billion with the rest of the world, a remarkable improvement of 81 percent when compared to an amount of N$6.461 billion recorded in q2-2017.
Y-on-Y, overall exports to the aforesaid destinations improved, registering N$16.028 billion compared to N$6.179 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of last year, which translates to 159 percent growth.
The improvement was mainly attributed to a once off shipment of vessels to United Kingdom and an increase in export of mineral products, mostly to China, Belgium, and Botswana.
“Just to note, the vessels which were exported to the UK at the value of N$5.427 billion comprises of three exploration vessels valued at N$3.591 billion which were re-exported and reported as import from the Bahamas in the previous quarter(q1-2018) and two are research ships valued at N$ 1.835 billion which came in for natural environmental research. Q-on-Q exports to China and Belgium declined, this is contrary to, United Kingdom, South Africa and Botswana whose demand for Namibia’s exports increased,” explained the trade statistics bulletin.
Namibia’s exports were mostly absorbed by African regional groupings and the EU, with the EU absorbing the largest share of 47 percent, SACU with 24 percent, BRIC with 14 percent, SADC- Non-SACU with 7 percent, and COMESA with 6 percent and EFTA with 2 percent.
Equally, imports were also sourced from the same economic regions with SACU taking the lead by 49 percent of total imports, COMESA with 15 percent, SADC-Non-SACU with 15 percent, EU 14 percent, BRIC with 7 percent and EFTA contributing less than 1 percent.
Namibia exported most commodities by sea, air and road, with sea emerging as the most used means of transport by traders and accounting for 62 percent share to total export.
Commodities exported by air account for 21 percent while road was the least used mode of transport with a share of 16 percent of total exports. Most commodities imported into Namibia were transported by road and sea, contributing 65 percent and 29 percent to the total import bill respectively.
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