The country’s export receipts have gone up 31% to US$2.02bn for the period between January and May from US$1.53bn during the same period last year, driven by minerals, latest data has shown.
The minerals made the lion’s share of the export receipts on the back of firming international commodity prices.
Moreso, the strong agriculture exports especially, horticulture also catapulted the country’s exports.
ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru told Business Times that the need for increased diversified exports of value-added goods and services as opposed to the present reliance on the exportation of primary commodities is now urgent and imperative.
“For the period between January and May 2021, the country’s exports stood at US$2.02bn, which is a 31% increase compared to US$1.53bn recorded during the same period in 2020,” Majuru said.
He said on the other hand imports increased by 30% to US$2.43bn from US$1.88bn in 2020.
Consequently, the trade deficit for the period under review stood at US$416m which is an increase when compared to a deficit of US$340m recorded during the same period in 2020.
He said exports increased by 9.5% to US$486.8m in May 2021 from US$444.7m in April 2021 with imports increased by 2.6% to US$503m in May 2021 from US$490m in April 2021.
Total trade has increased by 30.5% to US$4.45bn in 2021 during the period under review from US$3.4bn in 2020.
Majuru said the country’s overall export performance is currently driven by minerals and tobacco exports and the value of processed and manufactured goods has also been growing.
Further, Zimbabwe has been registering growth in non-traditional markets, a development that will cushion local companies from shocks that might take place in traditional markets.
Last year, the government launched the National Export Strategy, with an aim of increasing visibility of Zimbabwean products in regional markets; particularly those that have not been traditional markets with countries like Botswana have been recording significant growth over the years.
He said Rwanda and Tanzania have potential to grow further if local companies fully utilise available potential in sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, agricultural inputs and implements as well as construction and engineering.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is projecting the exports to be above US$5bn this year on the back of improved mineral output and firming prices.