Value of timber exports fell by 23.7% in 2019 – BoG

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The value of timber exports fell by 23.7 per cent to US$0.17 billion, the Bank of Ghana has announced.

The BoG said the average realised price decreased to US$562.47 per cubic metre in 2019, from US$671.04 per cubic metre in 2018. Volume exported declined to 300,455 cubic metres in 2019, from 330,042 cubic metres in 2018.

Regarding Other Exports, the BoG said the value of “other exports” which is made up of nontraditional exports and other minerals (aluminum alloys, bauxite, diamond and manganese) was estimated at US$2.49 billion, US$0.05 billion lower than the outturn in 2018.

On Merchandise Imports, the central bank said the total value of imports for 2019 was estimated at US$13.41 billion, up by 2.1 per cent compared to the outturn in 2018.

“The value of oil imports (comprising crude, gas and finished products) decreased to US$2.42 billion in 2019, from US$2.58 billion in 2018, driven largely by lower oil prices on the international market. However, non-oil imports expanded in 2019 to US$10.99 billion, a 4.1 per cent increase compared to the position in 2018,” the BoG said in its 2019 Annual Report.

The report also revealed that the overall Balance of Payments (BOP) recorded a surplus of US$1.34 billion in 2019 compared to a deficit of US$0.67 billion in 2018.

The BOP is the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country over a period.

The improvement was on account of a further narrowing of the current account deficit and increased net inflows in the capital and financial accounts.

The Government’s budgetary operations for 2019 recorded a deficit of 4.8 per cent of GDP, slightly higher than the revised target of 4.7 per cent, according to the report.

The deficit was financed from both domestic and foreign sources, the Central Bank noted in the 2019 Annual Report.

Total government receipts amounted to GH¢53.0 billion (15.2% of GDP), marginally below the revised target of GH¢54.6 billion (15.6% of GDP).

The major components were tax revenue of GH¢42.4 billion (80.0% of total receipts), non-tax revenue of GH¢7.6 billion (14.3% of total receipts) and grants of GH¢1.0 billion (1.9% of total receipts).

Total government payments for the year amounted to GH¢67.7 billion (19.4% of GDP) which was below the revised budget of GH¢70.2 billion (20.1% of GDP).

Recurrent expenditure was 90.9 per cent of total payments, while capital expenditure constituted 9.1 per cent.

Regarding domestic debt, the BoG said the stock of the debt was GH¢105.4 billion (30.2% of GDP) at end-December 2019, compared to GH¢86.8 billion (28.9% of GDP) at end-December 2018.

The rise in the debt stock for the review period resulted from increases of GH¢5.3 billion, GH¢11.1 billion and GH¢2.2 billion in the short-, medium- and long-term securities, respectively.

Source: Laudbusiness.com/Ghana

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