Weak exports to negatively affect GDP

07 November 2021 | Economics

Simonis Storm; "The last time Namibia recorded a trade surplus was in June 2020. Net exports are therefore likely to contribute negatively to 2021’s GDP calculation."

Windhoek ∙ [email protected]

The value of exports stood at N$7.2 billion in September 2021, down by 8.1% when compared to N$7.8 billion recorded in August 2021.

Similarly, when compared to its level of N$9 billion in September 2020, exports declined by 19.7%. The value of imports decreased by 1.9% year-on-year in September 2021 to N$10.3 billion. Given these developments, Namibia trade deficit widened from N$2.8 billion in August 2021 to N$3.1 billion in September 2021, the Namibia Statistic Agency (NSA) trade statistic indicated.

According to Simonis Storm (SS), the trade deficit increased by 100.2% year-on-year in September, as Namibia recorded a trade deficit of N$1.6 billion in September 2020. The last time Namibia recorded a trade surplus was in June 2020. Year to date, Namibia has averaged a monthly trade deficit of N$2.3 billion. Net exports are therefore likely to contribute negatively to 2021’s gross domestic product (GDP) calculation, SS pointed out.

During the month of September 2021, Namibia’s top five export partners were China, South Africa, Botswana, Spain and Zambia. These top five markets accounted for 79% of Namibia’s total exports, up from the 69.6% witnessed in August 2021 and 74.2% recorded in September 2020, NSA said.

Maintaining her usual position, China emerged as the main export market for Namibia, absorbing 34.6% of all goods exported, ahead of South Africa which also maintained her second position with a market share of 21.6% of total exports, NSA added.


The month of September 2021 saw Namibia heavily depending on countries such as South Africa, Zambia, DRC, China and India for its import requirement. The top five import markets supplied Namibia with 76.7% of all imports required by the country, up from its August 2021 level of 69.7% and 73.1% recorded in September 2020.

South Africa remained Namibia’s largest source of imports with a share of 42.1% of the value of all goods received into the country during the month under review. Following in the second place was Zambia with a contribution of 18.8% of total imports. Furthermore, DRC came in the third-place accounting for 9.1% of Namibia’s total imports followed by China and India contributing 3.8 percent and 2.9%, respectively, NSA added.

The top five commodities imported into Namibia jointly accounted for 40.9% of total imports with copper taking the lead with the largest share of 25.4%. Following in the second position is petroleum oils and fuels with a share of 7.2% of all commodities imported. Ships, boats and floating structures was ranked third after contributing 3.6% to total imports while copper ores and concentrates; and inorganic chemicals followed in the fourth and fifth position with contributions of 2.5% and 2.2%, respectively, NSA said.

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