27 November 2012

Rwanda Trade Deficit at 17 Percent

Kigali — Rwanda's trade deficit amounted to US$337m in the 3rd quarter of 2012 up from $310.7m the previous quarter according to new figures from the country's Statistics office.

Data from National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) shows that Rwanda's total trade receipts in the third quarter amounted to US $600.1m with imports accounting for the biggest amount of $468.6m, exports worth $110.3m while re-exports were at $21.2m.

It's expected that the country's trade deficit which NISR put at 8.4% for the month of September, will rise to 17.6% by the end of this year as imports grow much faster than its exports.

According to NISR, Cement, medicament, sugar, fertilizers and vehicles were the major imports during the first three quarters of 2012.

According to the Rwanda National Bank (BNR) imports increased by 66% between July 2011 and July 2012.

The heavy imports had lately pushed up the value of the dollar crushing the franc under the weight but it closed trading at between RWF 620 and 625 to buy a single dollar and selling for up to RWF650 in most money outlets last week.

Asia and other EAC countries were the major partners for Rwandan imports, with Chinese exports to Rwanda hitting $71.5m in quarter three while Uganda attracted $68.4m in quarter two.

Tanzania was Rwanda's main export destination during the period.

Rwanda imported more in current price terms in the third quarter compared to the previous two quarters and the East African Community (EAC) share in imports at 25.8% while coffee, minerals and tea maintained their position as Rwanda's leading exports in the third quarter.

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