Zimbabwe’s trade deficit for January narrowed to US$125 million from US$146 million during the comparative period in 2016 with expectations that the country will be able to maintain the momentum on the back of current efforts to enhance local production.

Latest figures from the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency Zimstat show that trade deficit for the month of January declined to US$125 million from US$197 million reflective of government pro-production interventions and restriction of imports.

In December 2016 the country trade deficit stood at US$197 million.

The country imported goods worth US$385 million against exports of US$258.61 million.

Exports were up 3 percent to US$258.61 million compared to the US$249.17 million export bill realised in the comparative period in 2016.

On the other hand imports marginally down by 2.72 percent from US$395.34 million in 2016 to US$384.6 million for the first month of the year.

Major exports during the month under review included flue cured tobacco worth US$2.02 million granite, US$29.3 million nickel, US$7.5 million chrome, US$8.55 million diamonds, US$56.71 million gold and US$26.12 million ferrochrome.

South Africa remains the country’s largest trading partner with trade between the two reaching US$359.7 million during the month of January.

Imports from South Africa, declined 30 percent to US$146 million in January 2017 against exports of US$214 million.

The country’s trade deficit stood at US$2 billion in 2016 with expectations that the trade gap will fall to around US$1.5 billion.