By HELEN ZULU –
TRADE between Zambia and the European Union (EU) stood at €142.26 million in the first quarter of this year representing a decrease from the €187.79 million recorded during the same period last year.
The EU imported goods worth €59, 6 million from Zambia and exported goods worth €82.66 million during the first quarter of this year compared to last year when it imported goods worth €426.5 million and exported goods worth €328.98 million.
EU head of political, press and information section Robert De Raeve said this reflected a significant variation with respect to the first quarter of last year where the EU imported goods worth €115.77 million from Zambia and exported goods worth €72.02 million to Zambia.
Mr De Raeve explained that the trade between the two countries decreased because the EU did not import unrefined copper, copper anodes for electrolytic refining, which represented almost 50 per cent of the imports from Zambia the first quarter of last year.
He said this in an interview in Lusaka recently.
“The biggest difference between the two quarters is that in the first quarter of 2017 the EU did not import unrefined copper and copper anodes for electrolytic refining anymore, which represented almost 50 per cent of the imports from Zambia the first quarter of 2016,” Mr De Raeve said.
He said on the other hand, Zambia more than doubled its exports of refined copper, in the form of cathodes and sections of cathodes in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.
Tobacco imports into the EU also decreased by €8.7 million, while the export of gemstones multiplied almost fourfold.
Other items which have increased are: cobalt mattes and other intermediate products of cobalt metallurgy, raw cane sugar, and fresh cut roses and among others.
The most important goods imported into the EU from Zambia, in the first quarters of 2016 and 2017 included copper, refined, in the form of cathodes and sections of cathodes and ferro-silico-manganese.
Other goods were dried vegetables and mixtures of vegetables, whole, cut, sliced, broken or in powder, but not further prepared, fresh cut flowers and buds, of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes among others.
He said there was need for more efforts to further strengthen the trade between Zambia and EU for mutual benefit.