The Bank of Ghana’s summary of financial and economic data released this month show that for the first four months of 2023, gold and cocoa export earnings increased whilst oil exports earnings declined.
At the end of April 2023, total gold export earnings rose by 15.9% year-on-year from US$1.9 billion in April 2022 to US$2.2 billion. The increase in export earnings was driven by the increase in gold export volumes as well as the rise in prices of the metal. Gold prices rose year-on-year by 3.4% averaging US$2000.7 per ounce at the end of April with a year-to-date increase of 11.4%. Gold price recorded a tremendous rise due to several factors in the global economy which created some economic uncertainties especially the fallout from the United States banking issues witnessed by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. These happenings coupled with fears of impending economic recession in the United States heighten the value of gold as a safe haven.
Cocoa export earnings also increased by 20.4% year-on-year from US$1.04 billion to US$1.3 billion at the end of April. The rise in export earnings was due to the rise in the price of the commodity and export volumes. At end of April this year, cocoa price averaged US$2,924.4 per tonne, representing an increase by 13% year-on-year and 15% year-to-date. Since the beginning of the 2022/2023 season, the quantity of graded and sealed cocoa beans purchased in Ghana shot up by 18% as at March 9, 2023 from 481,486 tonnes around same period in 2021 to 566,486 tonnes.
Crude oil export earnings on the other hand dropped by 36.7% year-on-year to US$1.2 billion from US$1.9 billion recorded same period in the previous year. The decline has been as a result of the reduced prices and fall in production volumes as the TEN fields declined from a production of 30,000 barrels per day to 24,000 barrels per day. Brent crude oil price at the end of April this year fell by 21.8% year-on-year from US$105.8 in 2022 to US$82.7 per barrel. The annual price of the commodity is expected to average US$88/bbl and US$95/bbl based on projections by the World Bank and Fitch Solutions respectively. Oil imports (crude, gas, refined products, and other oil products) also witnessed a drop by 6.3% from US$1.3 billion at the end of April in 2022 to US$1.2 billion around same period this year.
The country’s total export performance between January and April this year stood at US$5.6 billion, a 3.6% decline year-on-year. At the back of the 13.9% decline in total imports recorded for the same period of US$4 billion, the country’s trade account for the first four months recorded a trade surplus of US$1.6 billion (2.2% of GDP) as compared to the trade surplus of US$1.2 billion recorded around the same period in 2022.