Maize imports hit N$100m in January

NAMIBIA imported over N$100 million worth of maize in January this year.

About 96% of imported maize came from South Africa and 4% from Zambia.

This was reported by the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) in its recently released National Trade Account data for the month.

It is argued that the balance could have been less had the Namibian maize companies not sourced from their parent company and related companies in South Africa only.

Zambian maize is less expensive, but its consumption is less, as no Zambian company has stores or trading partners in Namibia.

According to the report, Namibia is a net importer of maize, with average monthly imports of N$55.6 million.

The country’s overall trade in the first month of the year stood at N$19.3 billion, exports at N$7.6 billion and imports at N$11.7 billion, leaving a deficit of 4.1 billion Namibian dollars.

Exports fell by 24% in January from the N$10 billion recorded in December 2021, while exports increased by 22% from the N$6.2 billion recorded in January 2021.

The value of imports decreased by 6% and increased by 25% from its level of N$12.5 billion in December 2021 and N$9.4 billion in January 2021, respectively.

With international wheat prices surging during the year due to the war in Ukraine, Michael Thikusho, a junior researcher and economist at the Ministry of Finance, said there could be an expected demand for wheat products. corn in the coming months.

Thikusho said if local markets feel the pinch, consumers are likely to abandon food items such as pasta and opt for corn-based products instead.

Simonis Storm Securities analyst Theo Klein said last week that imports from Russia and Ukraine were minimal.

Imports from Russia are less than 1%.

Namibia’s main imports from Russia in recent years have included wheat, ammonium nitrate (used in high nitrogen fertilizers for farmers), frozen chicken and frozen sardines.

Namibia’s main exports to Russia in recent years have included oysters, fresh grapes, collectibles, frozen crab and dates.

The main products imported from Ukraine to Namibia are poultry meat, malt, seed oils, wheat, engine parts, packaged medicines, refined petroleum and electric batteries.

Trade between Ukraine and Namibia and South Africa accounts for about 0.07% of total imports by member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

“Therefore, in light of the war in Ukraine and reduced exports to SACU members due to economic disruption, we do not see a significant impact on SACU revenues received by Namibia,” Klein said.

COMMERCIAL DATA

China became the country’s top export destination, with a 32.3% share of all goods exported, followed by South Africa with an 18.3% share in January.

In addition, Zambia, Spain and France were among Namibia’s top five export markets.

On the demand side, South Africa maintained its first position as the country’s main source of imports, accounting for 29.9% of Namibia’s total imports, followed by Zambia in second place with 24.9 % market share.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Arab Emirates and Bulgaria were also among Namibia’s top five import sources.

Analysis of exports by commodity revealed that copper blisters had the largest share (26.6%) in Namibia’s total exports ahead of uranium with 12.8%, followed by non-monetary gold with a market share of 11%, fish at 10.7%, and precious stones (diamonds) at 8%.

In terms of imports, copper blisters were the most imported products with a relative share of 29.6% of total imports, followed by petroleum oils with a 15% share in second position, while ores and concentrates copper came third with one share. by 3%.

In addition, precious metal ores and concentrates and precious stones (diamonds) contributed 2.6% and 2.4% respectively to Namibia’s total imports.

Namibia’s trade by mode of transport revealed that in January 2022, the majority of exported goods left the country by sea, accounting for 55.8% of total exports, followed by road transport with 24.3% and air transport with 19.8%.

On the demand side, most goods that entered the country were by road, accounting for 68.5% of total imports, followed by sea (28.7%) and air (2. 7%).

Namibia exported most of its goods to the rest of the world via Walvis Bay port (53.5%), Eros airport (14.4%), Wenela border post (8.8%) , the Trans-Kalahari (6%), and Hosea Kutako International Airport (5.2%).

In the case of imports, Namibian imports mainly went through Wenela (30.6%), Walvis Bay (28.6%), Ariamsvlei (16.1%), Trans-Kalahari (11.3%) and Noordoewer ( 6.4%).

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