Zimbabwe’s exports are estimated to have declined by about 4 percent in 2019 to 4.5 billion U.S. dollars, from 4.7 billion dollars in 2018, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said Monday.
RBZ Governor John Mangudya said the exports were largely weighed down by lower gold and tobacco leaf exports.
Sustained power outages, persistent fuel shortages, foreign currency challenges and high operational costs amid rising inflationary pressures, among other factors, adversely affected production in the mining sector and consequently mineral exports,” the governor said in his 2020 monetary policy statement issued Monday.
He said some of the hardest hit imports are key inputs into the domestic production process, such as chemicals and electricity.
The country’s imports contracted last year to 4.8 billion dollars from 6.6 billion in 2018.
This resulted in the current account improving from a deficit of 1.4 million dollars to a surplus of 311.2 million dollars in 2019, the governor said.
“The contraction (in imports) was largely attributable to subdued economic activity and weak aggregate demand, mainly on account of foreign currency shortages.
“Furthermore, the expenditure switching effects that followed the liberalization of the exchange rate resulted in imports being relatively more expensive and beyond the reach of some potential importers,” he said. Enditem