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CBoS: 'Sudan deficit reaches record high, exports lower than ever'

November 6 - 2022 KHARTOUM
(Graphic: RD)
(Graphic: RD)

The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) reported that the trade deficit has reached $3.5 billion during the current third quarter of this fiscal year. The trade deficit reflects Sudan’s import commodities exceeding its exports.

Imports on foreign goods into Sudan from January to September this year, was estimated at a value of $7.1 billion, according to the Sudan News Agency. Exports fell to their lowest recorded level, reaching only $3.6 billion.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, economic analyst Hafiz Ismail attributed the large rise in the trade deficit to Sudan’s “economic depression and the general market stagnation”.

Exports have declined due to the rise in taxes and levies, which the “Ministry of Finance has become dependent on,”  he said.

The economist added that the absence of a clear economic policy has discouraged production. He stated that the closure of the port also “had a significant impact on the incoming and outgoing movement”.

He expected Sudan’s deficit and economic depression to continue, especially since the country’s has been in a state of prolonged political instability.

Gold export commodity

The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) report on foreign trade states that gold still remains the largest export commodity from Sudan.

Amid growing concerns of economic and food insecurity in the region, as well as the political crisis currently embroiled in Sudan, the United Nation’s Secretary-General António Guterres stated in a report on September 2 that Sudan is at risk of being “constrained economically” and this will likely “deter investors”.  

Sudan is one of the largest producers of gold in Africa, however production is often driven by unregulated, artisanal (individual subsistence) mining, and routine gold smuggling across international borders is a constant problem.

It is estimated that between 50 and 80 per cent of Sudan’s gold is smuggled out of the country, with proceeds frequently used to finance internal conflicts. Earlier this year, CNN published a report about Russia smuggling huge amounts of gold out of Sudan, bypassing the county’s official gold export regulations.

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