National Statistics Institute presented provisional data on foreign trade for the first quarter of this year in debt of exports of goods with a decrease of 11%. The trade deficit fell by 17.6%, bringing the export coverage ratio to 2.5%.
The information advanced in a press release by the National Statistics Institute indicates that the trade balance of Sao Tome and Príncipe is deficient, with a low degree of coverage of exports by imports.
According to the note, cocoa reached a total of 296.4 tons corresponding to the value of 15.5 billion dobras, with a decrease in quantity of 33.4% and an amount of 36.3%. Regarding the destination of exports, the Netherlands was seconded with 42.6%, Belgium with 21.7%, Germany with 12%, culminating in its total a weight of 76.3% of the total value of exports.
In the past, the main destination markets of the Saotomean exports were the same presented adding France and Spain and varying Portugal between the 5th and the 6th position. Among the remaining markets were Angola, the USA, Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa.
The note underlines that the first indicators of imports of goods grew by 13.5% in relation to nominal values, with food products such as rice, wheat flour and sugar at 2192 tonnes, 291.8 tonnes, 493.4 tonnes. With regard to gasoline fuels it increased to 65%, gas oil 52% and oil 45% due to the high acquisition cost.
The origin of imports, Portugal and Angola were the most outstanding with a weight of 51.6% and 22.5%. From Portugal, they mainly focused on food and agricultural products. And from Angola fuel and cement, providing a 17.6% decrease in the deficit of the balance while the rate of coverage of exports was 2.5% of total imports. The group of mineral fuels comprised a value of 153.2 billion dobras, an increase of 66.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, which was 92.1 billion dobras.
Sao Tome and Príncipe is 57th as Portugal’s customer, with Portuguese exports to this country accounting for only 0.13% of the total, even though in 2017 Portuguese exports to the archipelago fell 12.2% in January to November compared to the same period in 2016, the first drop since 2012, according to data from the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP).
It should be noted that in 2016, imports to Sao Tome and Príncipe were practically responsible for the stabilization of trade compared to 2015 (+ 0.4%), with exports growing (+ 15.1%). In the first months of 2017 imports increased (+ 11.1%) and exports + 2.8%, with the deficit growing (+ 11.9%).
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