Ghana�s Gross International Reserves (GIR) is expected to rise significantly this week as the Central Bank exchanges the Ghana Cocoa Board�s US$ 1.5 billion trade-finance loan for cedis.
This according to the Deputy Minister of Finance, Fiifi Kwetey will further boost the country�s reserves, strengthen the local currency as well as put some level of confidence in the economy. The dollar auctions should be enough to ease pressure on the cedi from election spending, he added.
Ghana�s reserves dropped slightly at the end of August 2012 to US$4.2 billion compared to US$4.5 billion in August 2011 which is equivalent to 2.4 months of import cover.
But the situation may be reversed especially as the central bank will exchange COCOBOD�s trade finance loan for cedis. The board that regulates the cocoa industry signed the loan with banks on September 12 for the purchase of cocoa beans in the 2012-13 crop seasons. The board in turn lends the money to licensed buying companies that purchase the beans from farmers.
According to the Central Bank, total foreign exchange inflows, from January to July 2012, through the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) amounted to US$10.4 billion compared to US$10 billion in the corresponding period of 2011. Of the total, US$1.1 billion accrued to individuals.
Total merchandise exports from January to July 2012 grew by 12.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis to US$8.4 billion, mainly driven by high export receipts from gold, cocoa beans and crude oil. Exports of gold were US$3.5 billion, cocoa beans US$1.8 billion and crude oil US$1.6 billion. Other export receipts, including non-traditional exports, amounted to US$1.5 billion.
Total merchandise imports were US$10.4 billion, registering a year-on-year growth of 18.3 per cent over the same period last year. Oil imports, including crude, gas and refined products, amounted to US$2 billion compared to US$1.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2011.
Crude oil imports amounted to US$577 million while imports of refined oil products were US$1.3 billion. Gas imports through the West African Gas Pipeline were estimated at US$107 million.
Total non-oil imports amounted to US$8.4 billion. Of this, Capital imports were estimated at US$1.9 billion, Intermediate imports amounted to US$4.1 billion and Consumption imports, US$1.84 billion.
As a result of these developments, the deficit on the trade account widened to US$2 billion in January to July 2012 compared with a deficit of US$1.3 billion in the same period of 2011.
Source: Economy Times
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