Zambia has recorded a trade surplus for March 2012 valued at K79.6 billion representing an increase of about 68.1 per cent from K47.4 billion recorded the previous month.
This means that the country exported more in the month under review than it imported in nominal terms.
According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi, since January 2011 the country has had monthly trade surpluses with the highest valued at K1, 484.5 billion registered in January 2011 and the lowest in February 2011 amounting to K47.4 billion.
Mr Kalumbi said the reduction in the trade surplus for the month of February was attributed to work stoppages and floods on the mines thereby affecting copper production.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Kalumbi said Zambia’s major export products in March 2012 were from the intermediate goods category comprising copper cathodes and section of refined copper which accounted for about 84.5 per cent.
Other exports were from the consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods categories which collectively accounted for about 15.5 per cent of total exports.
“This implies that between March and February 2012, the country has been a net exporter of intermediate goods mainly metals and their articles accounting for an average of 80 per cent of the total exports for two months,” Mr Kalumbi said.
He said Zambia’s major export destination for March was Switzerland, which accounted for 36.7 per cent.
The major exports products to Switzerland were cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper accounting for about 89.3 per cent.
China was the second major destination of Zambia’s exports which stood at 18.1 per cent and the country mainly exported copper blisters accounting for 77.8 per cent.
Mr Kalumbi said South Africa was the third major destination of Zambia’s exports accounting for 9.6 per cent adding that 22.3 per cent of the products exported to South Africa were articles of cobalt.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the fourth major export destination, accounting for 6.2 per cent.
The main export products to DRC were sulphur accounting for 16 per cent.
The firth major export destination accounting for 6 per cent was the United Kingdom with the country exporting cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper which contributed for 83.1 per cent to the country’s share of exports.
These five countries collectively accounted for 76.6 per cent of Zambia’s total export earnings in March 2012.