Ghana’s gross international reserves which stood at $5.4 billion in December 2011 has declined to $4.6 billion in March 2012, the Bank of Ghana has said. According to the central bank, the reserves declined to $4.6 billion in January, rose to $4.7 billion in February before it fell in March 2012. The country also experienced a trade deficit of $202.1 million in 2012 compared with a deficit of $246.1 million for the same period in 2011.
The Bank indicates that developments in the country’s merchandise trade resulted in the deficit. It gave the following details of the preliminary estimate of total merchandise exports for the first three months of 2012. It noted that the preliminary estimate of total merchandise exports for the first three months of 2012 is $3.8 billion, indicating a year-on-year growth of 22.8 per cent.
The growth in export earnings continues to be driven by gold, cocoa beans and crude oil. Exports of gold amounted to $1.5 billion, cocoa beans $939.8 million and crude oil $689.6 million. Other exports, including non-traditional exports, amounted to $675.2 million during the period.
Total merchandise imports, it said, provisionally amounted to $4 billion in the first quarter of 2012, representing a year-on-year growth of 19.8 per cent. Oil imports, including crude, gas and refined products amounted to $457.2 million compared with $692.2 million for the same period of 2011. Total non-oil imports, the Bank said amounted to $3.6 billion of which capital imports was $781.2 million, intermediate imports $1.7 billion, consumption imports $775.8 million and others $251.8 million.