Semi-manufactured gold exports up 31pc


THE value of semi-manufactured gold exports from Zimbabwe grew by a 31 percent to US$248 million in December last year, after 4 417kg were shipped out from 2 455kg the prior month, official figures show.

This excludes bullion gold; a recognised weight and fineness of gold that can be purchased for the current price, plus the small costs incurred in refining, fabricating, and shipping it.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) also said while South Africa remained Zimbabwe’s biggest major trading partner, exports to the United Arab Emirates constituted 42,2 percent of total shipments compared to 22,4 percent in November.

Exports to South Africa constituted 38,1 percent of the total value export in December 2021 compared to 33,4 percent in November, 2021.

The total value of exports retreated slightly in December to US$590 million from US$647 million in November, which saw the trade deficit widen to US$180 million from US$37 million the prior month.

Although monthly exports took a knock in December 2021, the figure remains the fourth highest monthly foreign currency inflow for the last three years.

“In order to strengthen the country’s export earning capacity, it is necessary to look closely at export drivers,” Zimstat said in its latest trade report released this week.

Zimstat said December 2021 data showed that Zimbabwe’s main exports were semi manufactured gold (42 percent), nickel mattes including platinum group of minerals (PGMs) (18,3 percent), nickel ores and concentrates (13,4 percent), tobacco (9,8 percent), ferro-chromium (3,3 percent), platinum unwrought or in powder form (3 percent), skins and hides (1,7 percent).

It was noted that major minerals from the country such as nickel concentrates and nickel mattes were exported in a semi-processed form, while nickel ores (including PGMs) are exported in a raw form.

Zimbabwe’s major imports were mineral fuels and mineral oil products which stood at 21,5 percent in December 2021, compared to 18,9 percent in November the same year.

This was followed by machinery and equipment at 10,9 percent in December 2021. Other major imports included vehicles (7,6 percent), pharmaceuticals (6,7 percent), fertiliser (6,1 percent), plastics (4,3 percent), animal and vegetable fats and oils (3,9 percent), electrical machinery and equipment (3,7 percent) and cereals (3,1 percent).

Notably, major imports in Zimbabwe were aggregated to reach 92,2 percent in December 2021.

Cereal imports including maize increased slightly to 3,1 percent in December 2021 from 2,6 percent in November 2021.

Rice, which makes the bulk of cereal imports constituted 2,7 percent in December 2021 compared to 1,7 percent in November, 2021.

Value of exports to China decreased to 3,6 percent in December 2021, from 23,9 percent in November 2021.

Exports to Mozambique, constituted 6,5 percent in December 2021 compared to 8,2 percent in November 2021.

The proportion of exports to Belgium was 2,9 percent in December compared to 2,5 percent in November, 2021. The proportion of imports from South Africa declined from 43,7 percent in November 2021 to 39,9 percent in December 2021.

Furthermore, the proportion of imports from Singapore was 17,3 percent in December 2021 from 14 percent in November.

Imports from China accounted for  12,3 percent of total exports in December 2021 from 11,3 percent a month earlier.

Other major imports in December 2021 came from Mozambique (4,5 percent), Mauritius (3,4 percent), Hong Kong (3,3 percent), India (3 percent), Zambia (2,5 percent), United Kingdom (1,1 percent) and the United State