Ghana reverses trade deficit, records surplus of GH₵5.3billion in 2023
Ghana reverses trade deficit, records surplus of GH₵5.3billion in 2023
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Ghana reverses trade deficit, records surplus of GH₵5.3billion in 2023

Ghana's trade performance took a positive turn in 2023, with the country recording a surplus of GH₵5.3 billion compared to a deficit of GH₵4.8 billion in 2022.

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According to the Ghana 2023 Trade Report released today in Accra, this shift is attributed to a surge in exports (GH₵186.0 billion) exceeding imports (GH₵180.7 billion).

Three commodities accounted for more than three-quarters (77.3%) of all exports from Ghana. The export of gold bullion was GH₵84.1 billion, over two-fifths of all exports, followed by crude petroleum oils (GH₵43.9 billion), and cocoa beans and cocoa paste (GH₵15.7 billion).

While Ghana's export profile remains reliant on primary products like gold, cocoa, and crude oil, a key takeaway is the increased importance of gold exports compared to mineral fuels and oils as well as cocoa in 2023. This highlights a potential shift in the export landscape.

Three countries are the destination for over 80 percent of Ghana's gold exports: Switzerland (40.2%), the United Arab Emirates (21.8%), and South Africa (21.7%). The country's mineral fuels and oils exports go primarily to China (23.0%), Canada (20.1%), Brazil (12.3%), and Italy (11.0%).

More than half (55.6%) of cocoa beans and products were exported to four countries: Netherlands (27.9%), United States of America (12.8%), Malaysia (7.9%) and Belgium (7.0%).

The report presented by the Government Statitician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim highlighted the need for further diversification in both export markets and products. 

He said while trade with South Africa remains strong, particularly for gold exports, efforts are needed to expand partnerships across the continent. Similarly, broadening export categories beyond traditional products like cocoa and basic food items is crucial for long-term economic growth.

Despite the positive surplus, challenges persist. The report acknowledges that import volumes still fluctuate, with neighboring countries like Togo and Côte d'Ivoire showing lower figures compared to Ghana's robust exports to Burkina Faso. 

Additionally, the first quarter of 2024 saw the lowest cocoa product export value since 2021, highlighting the need to address potential shortfalls in this key sector.

Looking ahead, the report underscores the importance of focusing on export competitiveness, diversification, and optimizing transport infrastructure. By capitalizing on these areas, Ghana can solidify its trade surplus and bolster its economic development agenda.

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