Tobacco, Cotton & Soya dominate Agro exports as inflation ticks up

Cotton (white Gold) ready for harvest

Zambia’s Agricultural exports has continued to be dominated by cash crops Tobacco, Cotton and Soya. This was confirmed by the Central Statistics Office – CSO monthly bulletin for October 2018.

CSO Director Goodson Sinyenga has highlighted that the major export commodities in the Agriculture production as Tobacco accounting for 17.7%, Cotton accounted fir 14.1% and Oil-Soya cake and other solid residues of soya bean as 11.2%.

However, the non-agricultural products accounted for a share of 70.5% of Zambia’s non-traditional exports in September 2018 compared to 66.7% recorded in August 2018.

When highlighting the performance of non-traditional exports, Sinyenga said the export earnings from Agricultural products recorded 22.2% percent decline from K812.2 million (about USD81 million) in August 2018 to ZMW550.5 million (about USD55 million) in September 2018.

He says agricultural products accounted for a share of 29.5% of Zambia’s non-traditional Exports in September 2018 compared to 23.3% recorded in August 2018.

Meanwhile, the export earnings from Non-Agricultural products has recorded a decline of 18.9% from K1,625.3 Million (about USD 163 million) in August 2018 to K1,317.5 Million (about USD132 million) in September 2018.The major export commodities were Sulphuric acid; oleum, Electrical energy and Wires of refined copper, he said.

The CSO Director further said that any change in the volume and price of copper has a direct bearing on the performance of traditional exports since Copper accounts for the largest proportion of traditional exports.

Sinyenga said that the volume of Copper exported for September 2018 has decreased by 5.1% from about 93, 400 metric tonnes in August 2018 to about 88,600 metric tonnes in September 2018.

He said that the Copper prices on London Metal Exchange market for the corresponding months decreased by 0.3% that is US$6,029.8 per metric tonnes in August 2018 to US$ 6,020 per metric tonnes in September 2018.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s inflation has continued to tick up well beyond the 6 to 8% inflationary target band. The October monthly inflation was recorded at 8.3%, up from 7.9% for September. This follows fuel price increases which is driving up cost of production and distribution as well as depreciation of the local unit, the Kwacha driving imported inflation.

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