Friday, August 16, 2013

Mining export receipts drop
By Gift Chanda
Fri 26 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIA's export receipts from mining have dropped seven per cent to K2.646 billion in June, according the Central Statistical Office. The earnings dropped from K2.840 billion recorded in May, CSO director John Kalumbi told journalists yesterday.

"The fall in copper prices on the international market in June could have contributed to the drop in the country's metal export earnings," said Standard Bank emerging market strategist, Yvette Baab, said in a telephone interview from South Africa.

Baab said the prices on the international market in June dropped four per cent and this was not offset by further rise in volumes of copper being exported from Zambia.

Copper prices in June fell to US $7,000 per tonne from US $7,200 for May and April, and according to Baab, the drop led to the decline in the value in copper export earnings for Zambia.

Copper, which declined for the first time in five days on Tuesday after a preliminary reading of manufacturing in China fell below expectations, has dropped 13 per cent on a year-to-date basis and was trading at US $6,986 a metric tonne on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the CSO said the country's inflation had remained unchanged at 7.3 per cent year-on-year in July.

The Bank of Zambia has raised the benchmark interest rate for the past two months to curb prices after the government removed subsidies on fuel and mealie-meal.

Central Bank deputy governor for operations Dr Bwalya Ng'andu recently said inflation rate would continue easing to end the year at six per cent despite the removal of subsidies.

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