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THE value of Zimbabwe’s total exports clocked US$486,8 million in May this year, signifying a marked increase of 9,5 percent from $444,7 million earnings realised in April, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has revealed.

The increase in total export earnings has been attributed to a spike in tobacco earnings since the commencement of the selling season for the golden leaf in April.

Growing exports is at the heart of Zimbabwe’s economic transformation towards an upper middle-income status by 2030. The drive has seen the Government, guided by the National Development Strategy (NDS1-2021-2025) blue-print and working closely with the private sector, pushing for increased domestic production anchored on high value exportation.

“Zimbabwe’s main exports during May 2021 were nickel mattes, ores and concentrates (38,6 percent), semi-manufactured gold (16,1 percent) and these minerals constituted a total of 54,7 percent in total export earnings,”

said the agency in a latest update.

“As the 2020-2021 tobacco selling season commenced, tobacco exports shot up to 21,8 percent in May 2021 from 9,1 percent in April 2021.”

Meanwhile, during the period under review ZimStat said imports increased slightly by 2,6 percent to US$503,1 million from US$490,1 million in April 2021.

“Consequently, this resulted in a reduced trade deficit of US$16,2 million in May 2021 compared to US$45,5 million in April 2021,”

it said.

The main imports in the month of May were machinery (15,5 percent), fuels (12,6 percent), cereals (5,7 percent) and pharmaceuticals (3,7 percent).

“In 2021, maize, excluding seed imports, declined from a peak of 7,1 percent in February to 3,0 percent in April and 1,9 percent in May,”

said ZimStat.

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