Ghana’s Exports Shrink By 7.8%

Ghana’s exports contracted by 7.8 per cent year-on-year to US$14.5 billion in 2020, mainly because of a significant drop of US$1.6 billion in crude oil export receipts on the back of low prices, the Bank of Ghana has announced.

Media reports quoted a central bank report as saying gold and cocoa export earnings on the other hand, went up by 9.1 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively, due to favourable prices and production volumes.

It said total imports went down by US$974 million to US$12.4 billion, underpinned by significant declines in both oil and non-oil imports.

Consequently, the trade balance recorded a lower surplus of US$2.0 billion (3.0 per cent of GDP) in 2020, compared with US$2.3 billion (3.4 per cent of GDP) in 2019.

According to the central bank, these developments were occasioned by commodity price developments which impacted on the trade balance.

“Commodity price trends traded mixed in 2020, influenced by Covid-related global market conditions. Crude oil prices declined by 22.9 per cent year-on-year in December 2020, driven mainly by weak demand. Crude oil prices averaged US$50.2 per barrel, compared with US$65.2 per barrel a year ago.”

It said in contrast, gold prices went up by 25.4 per cent to an average of US$1,857.2 per fine ounce, strongly supported by accommodative monetary policy, increased uncertainty and the global economic slowdown due to the pandemic.

Cocoa prices averaged US$2,581.3 per tonne in December 2020 and up by 2.5 per cent on a year-on-year basis.