By Stanley James, Business Editor
Minerals are dominating Zimbabwe’s exports after accounting for over 34 percent of the total value of goods sold by the country in May this year.
Latest international trade data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) for the month of May shows that the mining industry, which is expected to account for US$12 billion in the economy by next year, is emerging as the key source of foreign currency inflows.
Products within the sector such as semi-processed gold, nickel ore and concentrates, nickel mattes and platinum group of metals, ferro chromium, chromium ore and concentrates including industrial diamonds also contributed to overall export earnings.
During the month under review, exports maintained the US$500 million mark since January, but market watchers are worried by the widening trade gap as evidenced by the sudden rise in imported goods.
The imports are being dominated by productive goods and basic commodities.
Official market sources have also attributed the sudden increase in imports to industry and commerce response to government’s policy in opening floodgates for the importation of basic commodities through the suspension of duty on groceries.
The move has however been defended by government as critical to cushion consumers against unwarranted price increases and providing a wide range of commodities.
South Africa continues to be the country’s main trading partner followed by other nations such as the United Arab Emirates, China, Mozambique and Belgium, among others.