Low global commodity prices worsen Ghana’s trade deficit in 2013

cocoaThe rise in Ghana’s trade deficit got worse during the first quarter of 2013 as a result of low international commodity prices.

Ghana’s major commodity exports are gold, cocoa and recently oil.

According to the Bank of Ghana (BoG), in the first quarter of 2013, the country’s gold exports were $1.5 billion, cocoa beans exports were $725.8 million, and crude oil exports amounted to $1.1 billion.

The BoG stated that the country’s total exports declined by 7.3% in year-on-year terms to $3.8 billion during the first quarter of 2013 while total imports recorded a marginal year-on-year growth of 0.8% to $4.2 billion in the same period.

“The outturn for the trade account was driven by some moderation in the prices of the major export commodities on the international market and slower growth in imports,” the central bank said in its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) statement released May 22, 2013.

On the external front, the MPC noted that Ghana’s trade deficit has widened further on the back of a significant deterioration in terms of trade. It says “This was on account of low international commodity prices which have fed through to lower exports receipts, despite imports remaining broadly flat.”

The country’s non-oil imports went down by 7.1% to $3.2 billion while oil imports increased by 44.2% to $913.3 million.

The BoG said the current account recorded a deficit of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a deficit of $986.6 million in the same period of 2012 and “this was reflected in all its components”.

It added that the services, income and transfer account recorded a lower deficit of US$788 million compared to a deficit of US$986.8 million in 2012.

By Ekow Quandzie

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