Ghana crude oil exports yield $484.2 million

Ghana became an oil producer and exporter following the commercial production of oil in the country on December 15, 2010.

By the first quarter of 2011, crude oil exports from Ghana was estimated at $484.2 million, the governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said.

According to provisional data on Ghana’s external sector which showed improvements in the trade and current account balance, total merchandise exports, estimated at $3 billion, which is a growth of 61.7% year-on-year was boosted by petroleum exports, higher commodity prices and larger export volumes.

According to the central bank, Ghana’s export earnings in the first quarter of 2011 was $1.9 billion. Export receipts of cocoa beans and products amounted to $859.4 million compared with $682.5 million for 2010. The export value of gold was $1.2 billion, compared to $787 million in 2010, while exports of crude oil was estimated at $484.2 million.

On the other hand, total merchandise imports, the Bank said amounted to $3.3 billion during the first three months of the year, compared with $2.5 billion for the same period in 2010 (an increase of 32 per cent).

Non-oil imports, it said was $2.7 billion compared with $2.0 billion in 2010. Oil imports amounted to $614.4 million compared to $493.5 million for 2010.

“This increase in the oil bill was driven mainly by higher prices,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said.

He indicated that the merchandise trade deficit of $584.2 million for the first quarter of 2010 therefore significantly narrowed to $248.6 million in the first quarter of 2011, resulting in a lower current account deficit of $220.2 million compared to the deficit of $565.8 million in 2010.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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