Earnings top N$10 bn in 2019
Phillepus Uusiku- Fish remained among Namibia’s top five leading export commodities in 2019, hence making it the country’s number one food item export revenue earner besides minerals and vessels.
On average, Namibia’s exports of fish stood at N$7.509 billion over the period 2010 to 2019, reaching an all-time peak of N$10.034 billion in 2019 and a record low of N$5.148 billion in 2011, according to the latest annual trade bulletin by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).
The NSA pointed out that fish exports for the period 2010 to 2019 indicated an inconsistent trend starting with consecutive declines of 3.2% in 2010 and 2% in 2011. It then turned to an upward trend from 2012 reaching up to N$7.120 billion in 2014 before declining by 0.3% to N$7.098 billion in 2015.
The trend picked up again, registering the largest growth of 24.6% to N$8.841 billion of exports in 2016 and rising further by 1.6% to N$8.982 billion, 8.5% to N$9.745 billion and 3% to N$10.034 billion in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, the NSA says.
According to NSA, the largest contributor to the increase in fish exports was Spain, which is Namibia’s number one importer of fish. The country imported fish worth N$3.928 billion in 2019 compared to N$3.56 billion the previous year.
South Africa claimed the second position after absorbing N$1.558 billion worth of domestic fish compared to the N$1.494 billion in 2018.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) secured the third spot as the country’s export destination for fish with exports to the tune of N$1.161 billion compared to N$970 million imported in the previous year.
Finally, Zambia also remained an important destination for domestic fish as it absorbed N$1.119 billion worth of fish compared to N$1.068 billion in 2018, the NSA added.
In 2019, Namibia saw large amounts of goods exported by means of sea, thus maintaining its position as the most preferred means of transport.
Year-on-year, goods exported by sea lost momentum in 2019 to register N$51.083 billion, a contraction of 7.3% when compared to the N$55.124 billion recorded in the previous year. The seaborne exports mostly composed of copper (43.5%), uranium ores (24.1%) and 14.1% of fish, the NSA said.
Overall, Namibia’s exports stood at N$91.766 billion, down by 1.5% from its previous level. Imports were at N$111.253 billion, up by 0.6% from 2018.
China remained at the top of the chart as the leading export market for the Namibian products with N$23.756 billion of exports, representing 25.9% of the total exports, the NSA said.