Trade between Malawi and Mozambique using the ports of Beira and Nacala went down by 13 percent in the past two months, mainly due to travel restrictions in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to a report released by shipping and clearing firm, Fortress Business and Logistics Consult.
“In our April 2020 report, we indicated that the first quarter did not show a huge variance in volumes, possibly because most imports were shipped before lockdowns were effected.
“The exports spike in March 2020 is explainable by backlog volumes from 2019, mainly tobacco and some movements of soya,” indicates the report.
Speaking in an interview, Fortress Business and Logistics Consult Chief Executive Officer, Karl Chokotho, said annual volumes through Mozambique corridors make up to around 20 percent of the total Malawi imports and exports.
He said the trend in these corridors is a fair indication on what is happening in the economy.
“Necessity goods top Malawi’s list of imports and dominate the top list of export products. Notwithstanding this, the drop in imports is significant enough to be monitored.
“Similarly, the data does not conspicuously demonstrate the impact by the local political situation which impacted demand on consumer goods,” Chokotho said.
He said over 70 percent of Malawi exports peak in the second half of the year, and that the real Covid-19 impact is yet to be felt.