Export earnings hit US$7,4 billion, manufacturing sector improving

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By Alois Vinga

EXPORT earnings received by Zimbabwe in 2022 reached US$7,4 billion anchored on mining and tobacco farming with the manufacturing sector registering slow growth.

Data contained in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) 2023 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) shows that cumulative export earnings or proceeds as at 31 December 2022 were US$7,42 billion compared to US$6,37 billion earned during the same period in 2021.

“This represents an increase of 16,5% in 2022. The mining sector export earnings accounted for 75,8% of the total export earnings in 2022, underlying the need for diversification and broadening of the export base,” the MPS report said.

Minerals underpinned merchandise exports performance in 2022, growing by 12,3%, from US$5 million in 2021 to US$5,6 million, on account of higher production coupled with favourable commodity prices for key commodities.

Agricultural exports increased from US$785 million in 2021 to US$1,155 million in 2022, led by tobacco, following a good season.

The report shows that the country’s manufacturing sector recorded some growth reaching 15,5% from US$176 million earned in 2021 to US$203,1 million earned in the year 2022 coming on the back of foreign currency availability on the RBZ Foreign Exchange Auction as well as the Interbank Market.

The year also witnessed a surge in diaspora remittances which amounted to US$2,8 billion, an increase of 16% from 2021’s figure of US$2,4 billion.

 Of the total amount, diaspora remittances amounted to US$1.66 billion, a 16% increase from US$1,43 billion received during the same period in 2021.

Of the total diaspora remittances, 40% come from South Africa followed by the United Kingdom (25%), United States of America 11% and Australia 6%.

“For the year 2022, banks processed foreign payments amounting to US$8,59 billion, representing a 23,1% increase in foreign payments from US$6,98 billion recorded for the same period in 2021.

“The major drivers of foreign payments are capital and intermediate goods, consistent with the increased capacity utilisation,” RBZ added.