Coal exports not enough to wipe out Mozambique’s trade deficit

19 November 2012

Mozambique’s balance of trade posted a deficit of US$687 million in the first half of this year despite goods imports falling by 2.6 percent and the fact that the country started exporting coal about a year ago, according to Mozambican daily newspaper O País.

Coal, which contributed US$196.4 million, was the second-largest export product in the first half of the year, but was not enough to offset the trade deficit, the newspaper said citing figures from the Bank of Mozambique.

In the first half of the year Mozambique’s exports totalled US$1.8 billion, a rise of 3.6 percent against the same period of 2011 in which the Mozal aluminium foundry saw its turnover drop significantly due to a drop in the international aluminium price.

The central bank’s “Economic Climate and Inflation Outlook,” report noted that aluminium, with a contribution of US$579.6 million, remained Mozambique’s largest single export product.

The effect of price and quantity also contributed to a 10.5 percent drop in the export of products such as wood, shrimp, and cashew nuts, and only cotton and sugar posted a rise in the first six months of the year. (macauhub)