Trade surplus improves as it almost doubles in value
Adnan Adams Mohammed
Provisional data as released by the Bank of Ghana indicates a trade surplus of US$1.3 billion in the first four months of the year, compared with a trade surplus of US$778.00 million in the same period of last year.
The improvement in export earnings was attributed to crude oil and non-traditional exports. Crude oil export receipts recorded significant growth of 61.0 per cent to US$1.9 billion, due to price effects, while gold exports improved by 3.6 per cent, also supported by price effects.
Non-traditional export receipts crossed the US$1.0 billion mark in the review period and contributed significantly to the trade surplus. These developments far outweighed the 7.7 per cent growth in total oil imports in the review period, on the back of compressed non-oil imports.
Accorcing to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the trade surplus was offset by investment income outflows and net services payments, resulting in a current account deficit of US$128.15 million (0.2 per cent of GDP) for the first quarter of the year, representing a marginal improvement from the current account deficit of US$197.0 million (0.2 per cent of GDP) recorded in the first quarter of 2021.
The capital and financial account, however, recorded some significant outflows from net portfolio reversals and net private capital outflows, which resulted in an overall balance of payments deficit of US$934.46 million for the first quarter of 2022, compared with a deficit of US$429.93 million, same time last year.
Although, commodity prices have remained volatile due to the ongoing geopolitical tensions. Average crude oil prices gained 42.0 percent on a year-to-date basis to settle at US$106.2 per barrel in April 2022, supported by supply constraints arising from the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Gold prices also gained 8.1 per cent to settle at US$1,935.89 per fine ounce, on the back of increased safe-haven demand amid global inflation concerns.
Similarly, cocoa prices went up by 4.4 percent to settle at US$2,591.06 per tonne in April 2022, compared to the US$2,481.95 per tonne in December 2021, due to unfavourable weather conditions across West Africa.
The favourable commodities price trends positively impacted the trade account, as export inflows outweighed imports.