Namibia’s current account deficit remains high, although improving both on a year-on-year and quarterly bases, attributed primarily to a declining merchandise trade deficit.
This was revealed in the Bank of Namibia (BoN) latest Quarterly Bulletin, which was released this week.
According to the report, during the third quarter of 2016, the current account recorded a deficit of N$4 billion, compared to N$5,2 billion and N$5,7 billion during the corresponding period in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
“The improvement in the current account deficit was underpinned by growing export receipts, supported by a decline in the import bill,” the report said.
The BoN report also showed that the value of merchandise exports rose on a yearly basis, following firm increases in major export categories, namely uranium, gold manufactured products and re-exports.
At the same time, the value of merchandise imports declined, year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, the result of declines in key import products, such as fuel machinery, vehicles and consumer goods.
During the third quarter of 2016, South Africa remained Namibia’s leading source of major imported commodities.
Africa’s second biggest economy accounted for about 66,4 percent of the total imported goods during the third quarter, mainly comprised of vehicles, machinery, steel, distillate fuel and consumer goods.
Botswana was second, and accounted for 8,1 percent of imported goods to Namibia, primarily as a source country for diamonds, while Zambia followed with a 4,7 percent share, mainly consisting of steel.
The residual portion originated from the rest of the world, of which the Eurozone (3,5 percent), the United States of America (2,8 percent) and China (2,7 percent), were among the top ten.
Zambia was the top destination for Namibian exports during the third quarter of 2016, followed by Botswana and the Eurozone.
Zambia absorbed about 16,3 percent of total Namibian exports, consisting predominantly of re-exported steel, fish and beverages. Botswana was a close second, accounting for 15,4 percent of exported Namibian goods, constituted predominantly of diamonds.
The Euro Area was Namibia’s third top export destination, absorbing 15,3 percent during the period under review, constituted mainly of uranium ores and fish products. Similarly, South Africa also absorbed 15,3 percent of Namibia’s key exported products, such as gold, live animals and fish.
The rest of the exports went to Switzerland, Angola, China and other nations.