Trade surplus falls to US$2.63bn (2023) from US$2.87bn (2022)

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The prices for the key export commodities traded mixedly in 2023 on the international market, the Bank of Ghana has said.

On a year-on-year basis, crude oil prices declined by 5.0 percent to an average of US$77.3 per barrel in December 2023 due to sluggish energy demand in the United States and China and easing concerns on earlier perceptions that tensions in the Red Sea would disrupt supplies, Governor Ernest Addison reported to journalists on Monday, 29 January 2024 after the Monetary Policy Committee meetings.

He said the price of cocoa, on the other hand, “extended its gains with an annual growth of 66.8 percent to close at an average of US$4,235.60 per tonne, on the back of reduced supplies”.

Also, he said spot prices for gold also gained 13.3 percent to close at an average price of US$2,035.43 per fine ounce in December 2023, benefitting from the weakened dollar and falling bond yields after U.S. economic data fuelled expectations of interest rate cuts in the near term.

Dr. Addison said developments in the prices of the major export commodities, together with lower production levels in cocoa and crude oil, led to “a marginal decline in the trade balance”.

The trade account, he added, “recorded a surplus of US$2.63 billion for 2023, lower than a surplus of US$2.87 billion recorded in 2022”.

The Governor explained that this decline in the trade surplus was attributed to “a greater decline in export earnings relative to imports”.

“In the year, merchandise exports declined by 4.9 percent to US$16.6 billion. Gold exports increased by 15.0 per cent to US$7.6 billion benefiting from both volume and price increases. Cocoa beans exports fell marginally by 1.1 percent to US$1.3 billion on the back of lower volumes and prices”, he explained.

Crude oil exports also “decreased significantly by 29.3 percent to US$3.8 billion driven by reduced volumes and lower prices”, he indicated.

Other exports, including non-traditional exports, also decreased slightly by 1.9 percent to an estimated value of US$3.1 billion, Dr Addison said.

On the imports side, payments were lower by 4.2 percent to US$14.0 billion, driven by both non-oil imports and oil and gas imports, he added.

 

“Non-oil imports were estimated at US$9.5 billion, down by 4.6 per cent. Oil and gas imports also decreased by 3.3 percent to US$4.5 billion”.

Source: ClassFMonline.com

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