Official website of the National Trade Development and Promotion Organisation of Zimbabwe

ZimTrade Logo

Energising Zimbabwe's Export Growth

Republic of Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe’s exports on the rise

Speaking during the ZimTrade’s Exporter’s Conference held in Bulawayo in October 2019, President Mnangagwa urged the nation to synergise efforts towards boosting exports as this will guarantee sustainable economic growth

Amid disruptions in world trade due to coronavirus pandemic, Zimbabwe’s exports held up well between January-June this year compared to the same period last year.
According to statistics recently released by ZimStats, the country’s exports stood at US$2.52 billion between January-June this year, which is a 35 percent increase compared to US$1.86 billion recorded same period in 2020.
This growth follows spirited campaigns by President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic for the local industry to strengthen the culture of export-oriented production that will boost foreign currency earnings.
Speaking during the ZimTrade’s Exporter’s Conference held in Bulawayo in October 2019, President Mnangagwa urged the nation to synergise efforts towards boosting exports as this will guarantee sustainable economic growth.
“There is an urgent need for both the public and private sectors to synergize our efforts and collectively take appropriate steps to boost our country’s exports, which is the most sustainable way to stabilize and grow our economy,” he said.
Since October 2019, there has been various activities undertaken to grow exports that have culminated in the country recording a positive economic growth over the past few months.
These activities include the economic diplomacy agenda being spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
ZimTrade has also been implementing several export development and promotion activities targeted at growing capacities of local industries, diversifying export offerings, and increasing export markets for the country.
Zimbabwe’s trade performance
As indicated above, the nation’s exports between January-June this year grew by 35 percent compared to the same period last year.
Imports increased by 31 percent to US$3.02 billion from US$2.3 billion recorded in 2020.
Consequently, the trade deficit for the period under review stood at US$499.99 million, which is an increase compared to US$432 million recorded during the same period in 2020.
The growing trade deficit indicates that more needs to be done, especially on import substitution as this will reduce the country’s import bill.
Several interventions can be put in place to promote import substitution but chief among them should be developing local value chains so that local industries sustain its requirements.
There is also need to support sectors that are performing well as these will provide a strong base for further growing exports.
Further to this, there is need to boost exports of value-added products, which will allow the country to earn more from its exports.
Currently, the extractive sector continues to dominate exports composition contributing around 82 percent to total exports in the first half of the year.
Nickle mattes, nickle ore, gold, platinum, and diamond are minerals currently dominating exports.
However, exports of value-added products continue to grow, albeit opportunities to even perform better.
Statistics show that exports of value-added products increased from US$146.3 million in June 2020 to US$154.6 million, translating to 5.7 percent increase during the period under review.
The biggest mover in terms of export growth was the arts and crafts sector, which registered a 259 percent from US$2.2 million in 2020 to US$8 million in 2021.
This recovery shows the dividends of ZimTrade’s efforts in encouraging exporters in this sector after organizing for business linkages between local artists and buyers from Germany and in the region early last year.
Due to the huge potential in the sector, ZimTrade is also organizing for local artists to showcase their exhibits at the Dubai 2020 Expo penciled to begin on 1 October 2021 to March 2022.
The building and construction sector recorded a significant increase of 41.2 percent in exports from US$13.7 million in 2020 to US$19.4 million in 2021.
The sector will also be part of the outward seller mission to be conducted in South Africa and companies are encouraged to register with ZimTrade for their participation.
This year alone, the sector players have already taken part in ZimTrade-organised Malawi Solo Exhibition and Lubumbashi Outward Buyer Mission and these events are expected to improve the contribution of building and construction products to national exports.
The household furniture sector also grew exports from US$8.2 million recorded during the period under review last year to US$10 million this year, representing a 22 percent growth.
Major exports in the sector were plastic articles US$2.9 million, kitchen tables US$2.8 million and heaters US$1.2 million.
Further to this, the hides and skins exports increased by 15 percent from US$6.2 million in 2020 to US$7.1 million in 2021 during the period under review.
The major export in this sector was raw hides and skins, fresh or preserved, not tanned excluding bovine which amounted to US$7.09 million complimented by bovine hides which amounted to US$80,000.
The horticulture sector has recovered from a slow start, registering 6.5 percent increase to US$33.9 million up from US$31.8 million.
Major exports in the sector were tea US$9.9 million, macadamia nuts US$6.9 million, citrus US$6.1 million and leguminous vegetable US$2.3 million.
Clothing, footwear, and textiles exports also registered an impressive increase from US$12.4 million in 2020 to US$21.8 million in 2021.
To further boost exports from the sector, ZimTrade is organising the participation of local companies at the Allfashion Sourcing fair in Capetown, South Africa.
Registration for the event is ongoing and export ready companies are urged to secure their places with ZimTrade early.
In addition, exports from manufactured tobacco increased by 8.9 percent to US$26.8 million during the period under review up from US$24.7 million in 2020.
Although there is growth recorded in these sectors, there are some that have recorded a negative growth.
Processed food exports declined by 51 percent, to US$27.4 million down from US$56.7 million in 2020.
Sugar exports are still performing below previous year exports by 86 percent to US$5.5 million from US$39.6 million in 2020.
The sector is expected to rebound as the year progresses with indication companies making inroads to markets such as DRC and Tanzania.
There are also deliberate efforts by ZimTrade to increase the participation of companies in the sector at regional trade promotion events, such as the Outward Trade Mission to Kinshasa, DRC from 14-16 September.
As DRC imports most of its processed foods requirements, this is a potential market that can boost the country’s exports if local companies increase the visibility of their products in the market.
Another shaker was the aquaculture sector, whose exports declined significantly by 82 percent to US$0.4 million in 2021 from US$2.2 million in 2020.
Livestock and livestock products exports also declined by 60 percent from US$2.5 million in 2020 to US$1 million in 2021.

More News



ZimTrade experts are ready to advise and assist you in your export business. Should you be facing any trade obstacle, please report it to us. You can send us an SMS on +263715876373 or submit the form below.​