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Ghana achieves GH¢11.5bn trade surplus in Q1 2024

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Ghana marked a substantial trade surplus amounting to GH¢11.5 billion during the initial quarter of 2024. This achievement is set against the backdrop of a significant 20.4% rise in the average export commodity prices from the first quarter of 2023 to the same period in 2024.

The recent quarterly bulletin from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicates that this upswing heralds an optimistic direction for the country’s economy.

The nation’s exports reached GH¢59.5 billion in the first quarter of 2024, compared to imports totaling GH¢48.1 billion, culminating in a trade surplus of GH¢11.5 billion.

Leading the export chart in Q1 2024 was gold bullion, commanding a value of GH¢29.7 billion, more than doubling the value of the runner-up export commodity, crude petroleum, which stood at GH¢12.2 billion.

The quintet of leading export commodities—gold, crude petroleum, cocoa beans, cashew nuts, and cocoa paste—jointly contributed to 82.6% of the total export value.

Speaking during the launch of the Ghana 2023 Trade Report, Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim said “total exports in the first quarter of 2024 are GH¢59.5 billion relative to GH¢48.1 billion. Our trade balance in the first quarter of 2024 was GH¢11.5 billion, which is a trade surplus that is exports being higher than imports by GH¢11.5 billion”.

Meanwhile, the export value of cocoa products in the first quarter of 2024 decreased to $592.2 million relative to the average of $825.8 million for the first quarters of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Commenting on this, Prof. Annim emphasised the need for immediate measures to tackle the weaknesses surrounding the decline of cocoa exports

“In 2022, the highest was in the first quarter. In 2023, the highest was in the first quarter, averaging about US$ 875 million for these quarters in the last three years. Then suddenly, we see a sharp decline to about $585 million in the first quarter of 2023.

“A significant decline from about $870 million to about $580 million in the first quarter of 2023. This a situation that the agency [COCOBOD] is aware of and has found reasons that led to it, our expectation is that we minimise the vulnerabilities associated with whatever led to it [the decline in cocoa exports], and going forward we can sustain the returns from cocoa,” Prof. Anim noted.

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