Zimbabwe's trade deficit marginally narrowed to 242 million U.S. dollars in February from 271 million in January on the back of slightly reduced imports although the overall trade performance underlines the country's over reliance on imports amid a shrinking industrial base.
According to statistics released by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstat) Thursday, the country's trade deficit stood at 242.2 million dollars last month after exports amounted to 260 million dollars against imports of 502.9 million dollars.
The country's top imports for the month included fuels and oils at 109.9 million dollars and motor vehicles at 43.9 million dollars.
With local pharmaceutical companies facing challenges, the country imported medicines worth 30 million dollars during the month.
Due to food insecurity, the country also imported rice worth 10. 2 million dollars, followed by maize at 6.8 million dollars and wheat at 4.3 million dollars.
As the economic situation also remains dire, the country continued to import basic items like insecticides, herbicides, newsprint, soap, soya beans, gensets, heater/cooling equipment and pasta that cost the economy 9.8 million dollars for the month of February.
The country's top exports during February were dominated by mining and agriculture, with the country exporting tobacco worth 155.2 million dollars, gold worth 46 million dollars, nickel at 24 million dollars, ferrochrome at 14.5 million dollars and industrial diamonds worth 12.6 million dollars.
Diamond exports continued to be a disappointment with their contribution declining from 14 million dollars registered in January.
Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates were critical trading partners for Zimbabwe, with the country registering a trade surplus with two countries while recording a trade deficit with Zambia.
South Africa remained the largest trading partner, with Zimbabwe's exports to its southern neighbour amounting to 207.2 million dollars against imports worth 210.6 million dollars.
The country also imported goods worth 30.4 million dollars from China against exports of 384,000 dollars to the Asian nation.