Ghana’s exports for 2017 improved slightly compared to 2016, the 27th edition of the “State of the Ghanaian Economy Report”, published by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana (UG), has revealed.
According to the report the value of Ghana’s merchandise exports increased to $13,835.01 million from $11.13635 million in 2016 and from 26.1 per cent in 2016 to 29.3 per cent in 2017 as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP).
It said Ghana’s exports continued to be dominated by primary commodities; predominantly gold and cocoa, together with crude oil.
Professor Felix Ankomah Asante, Director, ISSER, College of Humanities, University of Ghana, presented findings of the Report on Tuesday in Accra.
The report shows that the increase was attributed largely to improved export earnings arising from significant increases in production volumes of cocoa, gold and crude oil, as well as an increase in world market prices for crude oil in 2017.
It said crude oil exports in 2017 rose substantially to $3,115.1O million, more than double the $1,345.22 million in 2016.
Citing the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the report noted that the increase was explained in part by a price increase of 21.6 per cent, from a monthly average price of $45.04 per barrel in 2016 to $54.79 per barrel in 2017, as well as by a substantial increase in the actual volume exported.
It said meanwhile, the value of cocoa exports in 2017 was estimated at $1,903.49 million, a slight decline from $1,923.30 million in 2016.
Sourcing the BoG again, it said this decline was attributable to a price fall, as the average monthly realized mice of cocoa decreased by 28.3 per cent to settle at £1,563.54 per tonne In 2017, from £2,181.51 in 2016.
The report noted that however, the total earnings from gold exports rose to $5,786.16 million in 2017, from $4,919.46 million n 2016.
It said the Increase resulted from rising export volumes as well as slightly higher price of gold, with the average realized price up by 0.8 per cent to $1,258.1 per fine ounce in 2017, from US$1.248.11 the previous year.
It said Ghana’s main export destinations were the major industrialised countries: France, Germany, ltaly, Japan, The Kingdom of Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States.
The report said understanding the current and prospective growth of these countries was important to better gauge Ghana’s export performance.
With regards to imports, the report said Ghana’s imports were mostly industrial supplies, capital and consumer goods, oil and foodstuffs from China, United States, Belgium, United Kingdom, and France.
It said there was a decrease in the import bill for goods: from $12.920.11 million in 2016 to $12.647.35 million in 2017.
It said the decline resulted primarily from a drop in non-oil imports from $11,085.22 million in 2016 to $10,655.20 million in 2017.
On External Balance and Reserves, the report said there was a trade (goods) surplus of $1,187.67 million (2.51 per cent of GDP) in 2017 compared with a deficit of $1,781.77 million (4.17 per cent of GDP) in 2016.
It said the improving trade deficit was attributable primarily to declining imports, particularly non-oil imports; adding that it was also underpinned by the rising value of exports, driven by an increase in receipts from gold and crude oil exports.
It noted that the deficit in the current account also fell from $2,832.05 million (6.63 per cent of GDP) in 2016 to $2,224.85 million (4.24 per cent of GDP) in 2017.
The report said the surplus (merchandise) in trade balance against the current account deficit in 2017 suggests a higher service deficit, lower net income inflows (remittances relative to income from foreign assets In Ghana), and/or smaller official development assistance (ODA) receipts.
It said at a projected three months of imports of goods and services, Ghana’s international reserves level in 2017 was slightly higher than the 2.8 months level in 2016.
It said against the recommended three months of import cover, the 2017 reserve level signals a continuing precarious foreign exchange position for the country.