The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has released the trade statistics for the first quarter 2018 on 19 June 2018. The trade statistics refer to trade in goods only and exclude the trade in services. Namibia usually achieves a surplus in the trade of services.
Herewith a few highlights:
The slight increase in the value of exports is encouraging, while imports excluding the once-off importation of a vessel have stabilised. However, rising oil prices in the second quarter that increased to USD74.44 per barrel on average compared to an average of USD66.86 per barrel during the first quarter and USD49.55 per barrel in the second quarter 2017 coupled with a depreciation of the Namibia dollar against the USD in the second quarter by 7.8% could raise the import bill. The closure of the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine will on the other hand affect exports negatively. These factors could again widen the trade deficit and put further pressure on the foreign exchange reserves. In order to finance the trade deficit Namibia needs to improve the competitiveness and design and implement smart policies that attract Foreign Direct Investment. FDI will result in an inflow of foreign currency and combined with domestic investment create jobs and increase exports and or reduce imports.