Gold ups Ghana export earnings to $16.6b in 2023

Gold was Ghana’s major export for the year 2023, earning the country $7.6 billion from merchandise exports, according to the Bank of Ghana. A statement from the Bank issued after a press briefing on January 29, 2024 following its Monetary Policy Committee meeting, says merchandise exports declined by 4.9 per cent to $16.6 billion. Gold exports however, increased by 15 per cent to $7.6 billion benefiting from both volume and price increases, making the precious metal the country’s highest foreign currency earner. The Bank said cocoa beans exports fell marginally by 1.1 per cent to $1.3 billion on the back of lower volumes and price.

“Crude oil exports decreased significantly by 29.3 percent to $3.8 billion driven by reduced volumes and lower prices. Other exports, including non-traditional exports, also decreased slightly by 1.9 per cent to an estimated value of $3.1 billion,” it said. On imports, the Bank said payments were lower by 4.2 per cent to $14 billion, driven by both non-oil imports and oil and gas imports.

Non-oil imports were estimated at $9.5 billion, down by 4.6 per cent. Oil and gas imports also decreased by 3.3 per cent to $4.5 billion,” it added. It noted that developments in the prices of the major export commodities, together with lower production levels in cocoa and crude oil, led to a marginal decline in the trade balance.“The trade account recorded a surplus of $2.63 billion for 2023, lower than a surplus of $2.87 billion recorded in 2022. This decline in the trade surplus was attributed to a greater decline in export earnings relative to imports,” the Bank said.