Mozambican exports up 36 percent in first quarter

10 July 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 July – Mozambique’s exports rose some 36 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2005, to surpass imports, mainly due to boosted overseas sales of aluminum and fish.

According to figures from Mozambique’s National Institute of Statistics, exports of goods and services in the first quarter of 2006 were worth US$ 534.6 million compared to US$ 393.5 in the same period the previous year.

The largest increases were seen in sales of lobster, which climbed fivefold to a value of US$ 166 million to become the most valuable item in Mozambique’s export basket in the period, surpassing electricity which fell 18 percent to US$ 106 million.

The second-largest item was aluminum exports of US$ 119 million, up some 16 percent over the same period in 2005.

Shrimp sales rose 40 percent while those of cashew nuts dropped by 86 percent.

Imports to Mozambique from January to March rose by 31 percent to a value of US$ 713.6 million, mainly due to the effects of fuel price increases.

Diesel purchases were three times higher – US$ 124 million – and amounts of gasoline bought were 59 percent higher to hit a value of US$ 264 million.

The main imports in the first quarter were of machinery worth US$ 327 million, up 70 percent and sugar, whose value shrank 20 percent to US$ 300 million.

In the same period, Mozambique’s balance of trade fell 19 percent to reach a deficit of US$ 179 million. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH