Zimbabwe’s mineral commodities are dominating exports which increased to more than $3.8 billion between January and November last year compared to $2.5 billion during the same period in 2017, latest trade data show.

The data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) also indicate that although the value of exports had improved during the period under review, the country still recorded a negative trade deficit.

However, a 20 percent growth in exports saw gold, platinum, diamonds, nickel and chrome being the key export commodities with tobacco also accounting for a huge proportion.

A rebound in cotton production on the back of increased incentives from the government has also resulted in the commodity accounting for more exports, according to Zimstat.

The tourism industry is also one of the key services sector that has resulted in overall growth in exports.

Zimbabwe’s main export markets in 2018 include South Africa accounting for 63.2 percent, followed by Mozambique at 10.1 percent, the United Arab Emirates 9.8 percent, Zambia 1.5 percent, Belgium 1.4 percent, Botswana 0.6 percent and Kenya 0.5 percent.

The country’s imports were mainly from South Africa, Singapore, United Kingdom, China and Japan.

Imports were, however, dominated by fuel, vehicles, wheat, ammonium nitrate and medicines.

Market observers say due to suppressed production, the country is relying on importing key raw materials for its industry which drains the scarce foreign exchange in the economy.