The value of merchandise exports for January to September 2015 was estimated at $ 7,750.8 million but decreased by $ 2,312.1 million, Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, said on Friday.
Presenting the 2016 budget statement to parliament the Minister said the decline represented 23 per cent as compared to the exports value of $10,062.9 million recorded during the same period in 2014.
“Falling commodity prices (gold, cocoa and oil) coupled with decreased production of all the major export commodities resulted in a low turnout in exports,” Mr Terkper said.
He explained that the value of crude oil exports was estimated at $1,468.8 million from January to September, 2015 as against $ 2,925.7 million recorded in the same period in 2014.
“The average realised price of oil decreased significantly by 48.8 per cent to $ 54.9 per barrel while volume exported also decreased by 2.0 per cent to 26.7 million barrels during the review period,” he said.
He said gold exports amounted to $ 2,445.2 million as compared to $ 3,369.3 million in the corresponding period of 2014.
The average realised price dropped by 8.2 per cent to $1,181.6 per fine ounce while the volume exported decreased by 21.0 per cent to 2.1 million fine ounces.
According to the minister earnings from cocoa beans and products exports amounted to $1,921.7 million at end-September, 2015, almost equal to $ 1,921.7 realised in the same period in 2014.
But he said earnings from cocoa beans totalled $1,340.4 million, adding the realised price of cocoa beans rose by 22.2 per cent to settle at $2,990.9 per ton while volume exported shrank d by 21.0 per cent to 448,148.4 tons.
“Total value of merchandise imports for the first nine months of 2015 amounted to $ 10,091.1 million, down by 6.3 per cent ($ 682.5 million). The decline was due to a drop in the importation of oil and gas,” Mr Terkper said.
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