By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) foreign exchange auction system has sustained the raw materials importation priority after allotting over US$12 million towards the cause amid exchange rate stability.
A trading update released at the close of the 25th auction reveals that a total US$12.4 million was allotted towards raw materials importation on the main platform while US$616 million was allotted on the Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) platform.
Machinery and Equipment needs were allotted US$4.4 million on the main platform and US$602 000 on the SME platform.
Since June this year, the central bank has sustained high allotments towards raw materials, machinery and equipment in a bid to revamp the country’s productivity.
In 2019 alone, Zimtrade reported that the country’s total import bill stood at US$3.6 billion with a trade deficit of US$587 million.
Market watchers are optimistic that the investment being deployed towards raw materials and machinery will complement the obtaining stability and further reduce the high trade deficit while creating numerous downstream advantages like job creation.
Meanwhile, the 25th auction system saw the exchange rate maintaining stability at a premium of $81. 85 against US$1.
Both the main and SME platforms reached a high $86 and a low of US$80 against the US dollar.
Consumables on the main auction received US$2.2 million and US$628 000 on the SME platform, services US$2.1 million and US$186 000 respectively, Retail and distribution US$2.2 million and US$160 000, Fuel Electricity and Gas US$2.26 million and US$149 662 respectively among other priority allotments.
The main auction received a total of 265 bids and disqualified 29 for violating the platform’s regulations.
On the SMEs platform 202 bids were accepted, 14 disqualified and 188 were accepted.
All segments were allotted a grand total of US$30.2 million at the close of trading Tuesday.