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