Windhoek – The BRICS bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is now Namibia’s top export market, taking up 34 percent of the Southern African country’s foreign receipts, the latest trade statistics show.
According to the figures released by the Namibian Statistics Agency this week, the BRICS are buying the largest chunk of the country’s raw mineral exports. Conversely, South Africa accounts for the bulk of Namibia’s consumable imports.
“Namibia’s trade composition by partner illustrated that China emerged as Namibia’s largest export market while South Africa maintained her position as the number one source of imports. The composition of goods exported consisted mainly of minerals such as copper, uranium ores, non-monetary gold and pearls and precious stones (diamonds),” the NSA said.
Other major destinations for Namibian goods are the European Union and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), with the two blocs respectively accounting for 20.6 percent and 15.5 percent of the country’s exports.
Statistics Namibia says the country’s exports to SACU consisted mainly of non-monetary gold, while copper was responsible for the large volume of exports to the EU.
Exports to SADC (excluding SACU members) were the fourth largest export destination by bloc (10.7 percent), followed by trade with COMESA (9.2 percent).
“In January 2021, the SACU region remained the largest source of imports for Namibia, accounting for 42.2 percent of all goods imported (mainly medicinal and pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages). Copper was responsible for the high value of imports from SADC excluding SACU which had a share of 26.3 percent of total imports and hence making it the second largest source of imports into the country,” Statistics Namibia said
Statistician-General Mr Alex Shimuafeni said the trade deficit was N$621 million (US$41.8 million) in December 2020 and N$1.2 billion (US$81 million) in January 2020.
An analysis of Namibia’s trade figures also show that fish were the only non-mineral products among the top five list of exports while the import basket was dominated by copper, petroleum and petroleum products, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, pearls and precious stones (diamonds) as well as motor vehicles.
The January 2021 trade figures also indicated a reduction in re-exports, falling by 2.2 percent month on-month but improved by 15.4 percent year-on-year.
“Copper took the largest share of re-exports, constituting a share of 69.8 percent of total re-exports destined mainly to China, Belgium and Australia. The copper that was re-exported was mostly sourced from Zambia and DRC. Important to note is that some commodities e.g. copper appear on both the export and import side. This is because such commodities are imported under warehousing procedures and re-exported thereafter. Hence, they form part of total exports (domestic plus re-export),” the NSA said.