Ghana records trade deficit for the first time since July last year


SourceCharles Nixon Yeboah

The two years trade surplus that the nation has enjoined may be short-lived this year if exports do not pick up in the coming months. This comes after the country recorded a negative trade balance in the first half of this year.

According to the Bank of Ghana’s latest Statistical Bulletin, the nation recorded a trade deficit of a little over US$73 million dollars in the first 6 months of this year.

This is compared to a trade surplus of US$51.93 million in May 2020.
Whilst the nation exported about US$1.17 billion of items in the first half of this year, it imported goods worth about US$1.24 billion.

From all indications, the impact of the coronanvirus pandemic is now being felt on the nation’s exports particularly non-traditional exports.

With the exception of crude oil price, cocoa and gold have been trading at relatively high prices on the international market.

So, it’s a bit surprising that the nation registered a trade surplus from January 2020 to May 2020, only to record a trade deficit in June 2020.

In January 2020, the country recorded a trade surplus of about US$308 million, which shot up subsequently in February 2020 to US$482 million, but fell sharply in March 2020 US$57.4 million.

Following the registration of a trade deficit, the nation’s currency could come under some level of pressure, unless part of the gross international reserves is used to support the demand for dollars, whilst inflows from Cocobod receipts arrive timely, among other interventions by the Bank of Ghana.

Trade Surplus

Trade Surplus is the amount by which the total value of a country’s export exceeds the total cost of import.

Ghana achieved a trade surplus of at least US$1.1 billion, the first in the past 20 years in 2018. In 2019, Ghana’s trade surplus amounted to around US$2.12.