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Ghana Shippers' Authority data says the reduction in benchmark values failed to lift imports, as it dropped by 11%

The reduction in the benchmark values of imports in Ghana has failed to yield the intended results, data from the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA) had shown.

Ghana Shippers' Authority data says the reduction in benchmark values failed to lift imports, as it dropped by 11%

According to the data, rather than increasing, goods coming into the country fell by more than 11 percent after the policy was implemented in April this year.

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The reduction in benchmark values was expected to boost the volume of imports through the country's ports but three months after its implementation, import volumes are rather dropping.

The development is in spite of the review of the benchmark values which translated into general goods being slashed by 50 percent and that of vehicles also seeing a 30 percent reduction in April this year.

For instance, the total volume of goods imported through the country’s two seaports (Tema and Takoradi) dropped from 7.16 million tonnes as recorded in the first half of 2018 to 6.35 million tonnes in the same period this year. This represents an 11.31 percent decline.

While the first quarter (January-March) of 2019 recorded a decline of 7.8 percent to 3.57 million tonnes against the 3.87 million tonnes recorded for the same period last year, the data from the GSA showed that the second quarter (April-June) of 2019 also showed a decrease of 16.89 percent to 2.73 million tonnes to 3.29 million tonnes in the same period last year.

The data further indicated that the development was influenced by decline in imported commodities such as petroleum products, bulk cement, bagged rice, chemicals and bagged sugar.

The data also revealed that transit goods recorded a paltry growth of 2.89 percent to 587,537 tonnes for the period under review while export volumes, on the other hand, recorded an impressive increase of 42.04 percent to 5.72 million tonnes against the 4.03 million tonnes.

The major gainers for exports, however, consisted of a 1.67 million tonnes rise in manganese, 191,223 tonnes increase in bauxite, 169,758 tonnes jump in timber logs, 93,525 tonnes growth in cashew nuts and 31,483 tonnes increase in cocoa beans.

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