Zambia eyes copper yields to buoy economy

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Economic growth in Zambia is expected to be underpinned by a 275% increase in copper output over the next nine years.

However, Zambia remains in high debt distress, with debt above 104% of gross domestic product.

The Zambian government plans to increase average output from around 800 000 metric tons annually to three million metric tons by 2032.

This is despite the fact that copper production has been on a year-on-year decline since 2020.

Production has fallen from 869 060 tons in 2020 to 800 700t in 2021 and 796 230t in 2022.

This is reflected in growth forecasts, with the Ministry of Finance estimating that the economy will grow by 2.7% in 2023 from 4.7% in 2022, due to contractions in mining and energy production.

BMI puts the growth at 3.5%, accelerating to 3.9% in 2024.

In July the Ministry of Finance and National Planning reported that it expected copper production, which accounts for more than 70% of export earnings, to drop a further 14% to 682 431 tons in 2023.

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