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Ghana’s exports drop as coronavirus pandemic disrupts global supply chain

Depressed crude oil prices and a drop in demand for cocoa have caused Ghana’s total exports to contract in the first half of 2020, data from the Bank of Ghana has shown.

Exports fell by 8.4 percent year-on-year to US$7.49 billion, attributable to COVID-19 induced disruptions to the global supply chain.

Global crude oil exports sharply declined by 37.9 percent year-on-year, dragging crude prices down by 37.5 percent during the same period.

The development, caused by restrictions on movement and corresponding downswing in the global economy, prompted investors to shy away in pursuit of a safe haven.

Investors subsequently found respite in gold after historic oil contraction, pushing tax receipts up by 6.9 percent and prices by 17.1 percent. The surge in prices was attributed to global monetary policy easing, geopolitical risks, and slow economic activity.

Cocoa prices contracted by 7.7 percent, occasioned by low demand for the bean due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These price developments, especially lower crude oil prices, impacted adversely on the external sector,” Governor of the central bank, Dr. Ernest Addison told reporters during a press briefing on Monday.

While exports fared below expectation, imports shrank 4.1 percent year-on-year to US$6.4 billion “on account of a 26.4 percent contraction in oil and gas imports which is in line with slowing economic activity,” Governor Addison explained.

As a result, the country posted a lower trade surplus of US$952.7 million (1.4 percent of GDP), against the US$1.4 billion (2.0 percent of GDP) for the same period of 2019.

The second wave of COVID-19 in Europe and the US has dashed hopes of an early recovery from the pandemic.

Analysts expect global trade to remain subdued more than projected, as the pandemic continues to weaken confidence.


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