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Zambia’s refined copper exports surge in july 2023 amid year-on-year volume decline

Zambia’s revenue from refined copper exports saw a notable increase in July 2023, rising by 5.4 percent to K11.2 billion compared to K10.6 billion in June 2023. This positive development has been reported by the Zambia Statistics Agency (Zamstat) in its monthly bulletin for August 2023.

According to Statistician General Mulenga Musepa, during a recent media briefing, the earnings from copper exports surged to K11.2 billion in July 2023 from K10.6 billion in the preceding month of June 2023. Additionally, copper export volumes for July 2023 showed an 11.1 percent increase, reaching 73,600 tonnes, up from 66,300 tonnes in June 2023.

Musepa also noted that copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) experienced a slight uptick, rising by 0.7 percent to US$8,445.3 per tonne in July 2023, compared to US$8,386.2 per tonne in June 2023. However, when assessing the year-on-year scenario, Zamstat reported a 12.4 percent reduction in export volume for refined copper, dropping from 522,600 tonnes in July 2022 to 457,900 tonnes in July 2023.

In addition to copper, export earnings from agricultural products displayed growth, with a 3.4 percent increase to K1.8 billion in July 2023, up from K1.7 billion in June 2023. Major contributors to this increase included raw cane sugar (13.4 percent), oil cake of soya-bean (12.2 percent), and tobacco (11.6 percent), which were not stemmed or stripped.

The category of non-agricultural products also demonstrated positive results, with export earnings rising by 5.1 percent to K4.4 billion in July 2023, as compared to K4.2 billion in June 2023. Electrical energy (15.2 percent), dumpers for off-highway use (12.9 percent), and various forms of sulfur (8.8 percent) were among the significant contributors to this increase.

Regarding export destinations, Switzerland emerged as the primary recipient in July 2023, accounting for 44.1 percent of total export earnings. The primary export item to Switzerland was copper anodes for electrolytic refining, making up 71 percent of the country’s total export earnings from Zambia. China ranked as the second-largest destination, representing 19 percent of total export earnings. Copper anodes for electrolytic refining played a crucial role here as well, comprising 75.3 percent of China’s total earnings from Zambian exports. The Democratic Republic of Congo secured the third spot, accounting for 16.1 percent of the total export earnings from Zambia, with dumpers for off-highway use being a significant export product, contributing 20.2 percent to earnings from that country.


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