Ghana’s gross reserves close 2023 higher at $3.66bn; Trade surplus dips

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Ghana’s Gross International Reserves (GIR) excluding Encumbered Assets and Petroleum Fund ended higher at $3.66 billion in December 2023, compared to $2.67 billion in December 2022.

This is equivalent to 1.1 months of import cover.

In November 2023, the Gross International Reserves stood at $2.28 billion, about 1.1% of import cover.

According to the Bank of Ghana’s January 2024 Summary of Economic and Financial Data, the country’s reserves have been growing consistently albeit slightly since August 2023.

It was estimated at $2.08 billion in August 2023 (1.0 of import cover) but shot up to $2.26 billion in September 2023 (about 1.0 of import cover).

Trade surplus dips

The country’s trade surplus also ended 2023 at $2.63 billion, about 3.4% of Gross Domestic Product.

This is lower than the $2.87 billion (3.9% of GDP) recorded during the same period in 2023.

According to the data from the Bank of Ghana, total exports as of December 2023 were estimated at $16.64 billion, whilst total imports stood at $14.01 billion.

Total imports declined by 4.35%, driven by both non-oil imports and oil and gas imports. Merchandise exports also declined by 5.11% and this was weighed down by crude oil exports and cocoa products.

Gold sustained its dominance, recording $7.60 billion export value in December 2023, higher than the $6.60 billion recorded during the same period last year.

Crude oil exports came second. It brought in $3.83 billion in December 2023, compared to $5.42 billion in December 2023.

Proceeds from cocoa in December 2023 stood at $2.10 billion, lower than the $2.29 billion a year ago.

Other exports, including non-traditional exports, decreased marginally by an estimated value of $3.09 billion as against $3.15 billion a year ago.

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