Business News of Friday, 20 November 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Ghana's exports decline

The value of the country’s merchandise exports spanning January to September, this year was provisionally estimated at $7,750.8 million, representing a decrease of $2,312.1 million (23.0 percent) compared to $10,062.9 million recorded in the same period last year.

The decline in commodity prices (gold, cocoa and oil), coupled with decreased production of all the major export commodities resulted in a low turnout in exports.

These were contained in the 2016 Budget presented to Parliament in Accra by Finance Minister Seth Terkper recently.

“The value of crude oil exports was estimated at $1,468.8 million for the period January to September, 2015 compared to $2,925.7 million recorded for the same period in 2014.

“The average realized price of oil decreased significantly by 48.8 percent to $54.9 per barrel while volume exported also decreased by 2.0 percent to 26.7 million barrels during the review period.”

Gold exports amounted to $2,445.2 million during the review period compared to $3,369.3 million in the corresponding period of 2014. The average realized price decreased by 8.2 percent to $1,181.6 per fine ounce while the volume exported decreased by 21.0 percent to 2.1 million fine ounces.

Earnings from cocoa beans and products exports amounted to $1,921.7 million at end-September, 2015 almost equal to $1,921.7 realized in the same period in 2014.

Earnings from cocoa beans amounted to $1,340.4 million. The realized price of cocoa beans increased by 22.2 percent to settle at $2,990.9 per ton while volume exported decreased by 21.0 percent to 448,148.4 tonnes.

Total value of merchandise imports for the first nine months of 2015 amounted to $10,091.1 million, down by 6.3 percent ($682.5 million). The decline was due to a drop in the importation of oil and gas.

Total value of oil and gas imports amounted to $1,574.4 million compared to $2,702.5 million recorded for the same period in 2014 mainly on account of the decline in crude oil prices.

The total non-oil merchandised imports (including electricity) was provisionally estimated at $8,516.7 million for the review period compared to an outturn of $8,071.0 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2014. This rise in non-oil imports reflected in all the broad economic categories.

The provisional trade balance for the first nine months of 2015 showed a deficit of $2,340.3 million compared to a deficit of $710.7 million recorded during the same period in 2014. The declines in exports which outpaced the drop in imports led to the worsening deficit position.

The poor performance of exports was mainly as a result of the worsening commodity prices and lower export volumes of key export commodities.

By the end of 2015, it is expected that the country will register a trade deficit of $3,537.0 (9.8% of GDP) and a current account deficit of $2,927.0 (8.1 percent of GDP).

This will be financed from net capital and financial account inflows, leading to an overall balance of payments surplus of $57 million.