Zim Imports gobble US$1,6bn

Zimbabweans’ appetite for foreign goods continues to rise with the country spending US$1,6 billion on imports in the first three months of the year.
Zimbabweans also imported disposable napkins valued at US$8 million in the first quarter.

The huge import bill has seen Zimbabwe recording a trade deficit of US$853,6 million in the first three months of the year.

Trade data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) shows that the volume of imports for the durationunder review was US$1,6 billion while the nation exported goods worth US$716,6 million.

If the trend is not stopped, it will mean that by the end of the year, the country will have used over US$32 million in importing disposable napkins.

Literally speaking, the country will have flushed US$32 million down the drain come the end of 2015.

Sanitary ware products and other toiletries accounted for more than US$3,5 million in the first quarter.

Interestingly, the country needs about US$40 million to resuscitate distressed and marginalised firms in Bulawayo.

In January, imports were valued at US$538,68 million but the figure slightly decreased to US$502,42 million in February.

In March, the import bill rose to US$529 million.

Processed foods dominated the imports but other products such as metal, fish, eggs and fresh produce also contributed to the high import bill.

Imported ceramic tiles accounted for US$6,4 million, freezers and electrical gadgets valued at US$16 million were imported while carbonated soft  drinks accounted for US$4,2 million.

In another worrying development, the country continues to import clothing and textile products, with US$22 million having been spent on such.

Zimbabwe’s textile industry is currently down with cotton farmers being stranded, with the crop failing to find a market.

Agricultural implements accounted for US$10,2 million, rubber tyres US$4,2 million, and kitchen utensils and hardware US$13 million.

According to ZIMSTAT, South Africa is the main source market for Zimbabwe’s imports.

Other key sources for imports include China, Hong kong, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Zambia and Malawi.ZBC