The latest trade data shows that Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange requirements continue to be sustained by gold whose exports raked in US$248 million between February and April this year.
For a nation that is facing challenges on hard cash inflows to sustain key productive sectors, production of the yellow commodity although subdued in the first quarter has, however, been important to Zimbabwe’s strategic material imports.
A breakdown of foreign currency receipts in the trade data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat), indicates that the yellow commodity earned the nation US$248 million between February and April this year.
It was followed by nickel, tobacco, ferrochrome as well as diamonds.
However, of greater worry is the continued reliance on consumptive imported products that are draining much of the foreign currency earnings.
According to ZimStat, the top three imports in the period under review were diesel, which gobbled US$226 million followed by unleaded petrol and crude soyabean meal.
The statistics also indicated that the level of imports has, however, narrowed with market watchers attributing the drop to foreign currency limitations as well as a decline in the nation’s overall budget deficit.
Zimbabwe imports over 55 percent of basic commodities and other essential goods due to low productivity in the majority of the country’s main sectors, which exerts pressure on its little foreign exchange earnings.