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HomeNewsSudan: Gold Remains the Country's Largest Export Commodity

Sudan: Gold Remains the Country’s Largest Export Commodity

Khartoum — The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) report on foreign trade states that gold still remains the largest export commodity from Sudan.

The CBoS trade report indicated that Sudan saw its trade deficit lessen from last year’s $4.7 billion deficit to this current year’s deficit of $1.5 billion. The trade deficit reflects Sudan’s import commodities exceeding its exports.

Amid growing concerns of economic and food insecurity in the region, as well as the political crisis currently embroiled in Sudan, the United Nation’s Secretary-General António Guterres stated in a report on September 2 that Sudan is at risk of being “constrained economically” and this will likely “deter investors”.

Sudan is one of the largest producers of gold in Africa, however production is often driven by unregulated, artisanal (individual subsistence) mining, and routine gold smuggling across international borders is a constant problem.

It is estimated that between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of Sudan’s gold is smuggled out of the country, with proceeds frequently used to finance the internal conflict.

CBoS issued a new circular to banks and related authorities in March, banning the export of gold by government agencies and foreigners, individuals, and companies, excluding concession companies operating in mining. The circular also limits the role of the Central Bank of Sudan to purchasing gold for the purpose of building reserves only.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga’s Sudan Today programme, Professor of Economics at El Nilein University in Khartoum Dr Hasan Bashir explained that export volumes could have been 10 times the size of current exports and highlighted the continued smuggling of large quantities of gold from the country.