BULAWAYO, January 26 (The Source)—Zimbabwe’s trade deficit stayed flat $3,3 billion in the 12 months to December last year as the country continues its over-reliance on foreign produced goods, latest trade data from the national statistics agency shows.
Data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) last week shows that exports to December amounted to $2,7 billion against $6 billion imports, which remain heavily skewed towards consumptive products following a significant drop in raw materials importation.
Most of the imports are consumptive products such as bottled water, sugar, soap, cooking oil, cellphone handsets, electronics, vehicles spares, clothing and second hand vehicles, which account for over 70 percent of the import bill.
The government had predicted a $3 billion trade deficit for the whole year. Imports are projected to decline marginally from $6,3 billion in 2015 to $6,2 billion this year while exports are expected to grow to $3,7 billion this year from $3,4 billion projected last year.
In 2014, Zimbabwe also registered trade deficit of $3,3 billion while in 2013 it was $4,19 billion.
Zimstat said maize, rice, wheat, crude oil and cane topped the list of imports while exports included tobacco, minerals, cotton, wood products and cigarettes.