Angola, SA among Nam’s biggest trading partners
Windhoek – Namibia’s major trading partners in 2012 were South Africa (R7 billion), United Kingdom (R5b), Angola (R3b) and Belgium (R3b), the latest trading figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) have revealed.
Diamonds, precious or semi-precious stones and metals were the main contributors to the sharp increase in exports to Botswana with a share of 87 percent. This is mainly because Namibian diamonds are now sent to Gaborone for sorting and not London as was the case in the past.
Botswana is expected to gain more than US$5b of diamond trading business by the end of this year when De Beers completes the transfer of its Diamond Trading Company (DTC) to Gaborone.
The agency said Namibia’s import bill amounted to R59b for 2012, compared to R48b recorded in 2011. The increase ‑ by over R10b ‑ represents a growth of 22 percent.
The major trading partners, from where Namibia sourced most of her products during 2012, were South Africa (R40.772b), Switzerland (R3.510b) and China (R2.359b).
Other partners that featured on the list were Export Processing Zones within Namibia (R1.473b), United Kingdom (R1.422b), Germany (R1.151b) and Botswana (R931m).
“There are some notable increases of imports from neighbouring countries such as Zambia with more than tenfold increase and fourfold increase from Botswana, the NSA said.
Giving a breakdown of exports by economic blocs, the agency said the bulk of Namibia’s exports for 2012 were destined to SADC member states. In the year under review, Namibia exported R15.750b worth of goods to SADC member states, representing 32 percent of total exports.
During 2011, Namibia exported R11.738b worth of goods (29 percent of total exports to the SADC market). This represents an increase of 34 percent in exports to SADC. During 2012, Namibia’s total exports amounted to R44b compared to R39b in the preceding year, representing an increase in total exports of R5.1b (13.1 percent).
Namibia’s imports in 2012 amounted to R59b compared to R48b in 2011, reflecting an increase on imports to R10.4b or 21.6 percent.
The substantial increase in imports resulted in a widening trade deficit that grew from R9.1b in 2011 to R14.4b in 2012.
The agency said major exports in terms of products were commodities such as diamonds; ores, slag, ash; and fish. While major imports were mineral fuels, mineral oils; and vehicles.
“Namibia’s trade flow increased from 2003 through to 2008. In 2009, imports continued with an upward trend before it started to decline in 2010 and 2011.
“They, however, recovered in 2012. Exports declined as well from 2009 through to 2011, but also picked up in 2012.
“These trends are in line with global developments namely the financial crisis that turned into the worst global economic recession in 2008 since the Great Depression.
“Consequently, the demand for commodities and hence prices dropped before both started to recover again.
“Namibia’s trade deficit was minimal between 2004 and 2008, but started widening from 2009 to 2012.
“It amounted to R17.336 billion in 2012 compared to R11.186 billion recorded in the preceding year,” said the NSA.