Sluggish diamonds sales hits Bots exports

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Mpho Tebele

Gaborone - Official figures show that during June 2019, Botswana’s total exports amounted to P5, 636.8 million, resulting in a decrease of 6.8 percent (P408.7 million) compared to the revised May 2019 value of P6,045.5 million.

According to Statistics Botswana, the decrease is associated with a fall of 7.4 percent (P409.0 million) in diamonds exports during June 2019 compared to the value recorded for the previous month.

Comparison of total exports value for June 2019 and June 2018 shows a fall of 17.3 percent (P1, 180.8 million) from P6, 817.6 million recorded in June 2018 to P5, 636.8 million currently.

“The decline in total exports was as a result of diamonds exports, which decreased by 18.0 percent (P1, 132.3 million) from P6, 277.5 million during June 2018 to P5, 145.2 million during the current period. Meat and meat products also registered a decrease of 28.5 percent (P40.2 million) from P141.2 million to P101.0 million,” said Statistics Botswana in its recent updated report.

It says Botswana’s total exports amounted to P5, 636.8 million, resulting in a decrease of 6.8 percent compared to the revised May 2019 value of P6, 045.5 million. Imports were valued at P 4,632.8 million, showing a decline of 29.6 percent from the revised May 2019 value of P6, 582.0 million.

Belgium was the largest destination for Botswana exports, having received 21.7 percent of total exports during June 2019. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India followed with 19.1 percent and 18.1 percent respectively.

Singapore and South Africa received 8.7 percent and 7.5 percent of total exports respectively. Asia as a regional block received 59.0 percent of Botswana’s total exports.

The European Union (EU) as a region received 23.2 percent while Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region received exports accounting for 8.9 percent. Botswana mostly exported diamonds, representing 91.3 percent of total exports during the month under review.

With regards to the country’s imports, machinery and electrical equipment led the contributions with 16.3 percent followed by diamonds with 16.2 percent of total imports. Fuel and food, beverages and tobacco contributed 14.2 and 14.1 percent respectively of total imports during the month under review. SACU as a region contributed 71.6 percent to total imports during June 2019.

Most of the imports from SACU were coming from South Africa, having contributed 70.3 percent to the country’s total imports value for the month. Asia and the European Union (EU) regions made contributions of 15.6 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

Botswana received total imports amounting to P4, 632.8 million during June 2019. Machinery and electrical equipment and diamonds contributed the most to total imports at 16.3 percent (P755.8 million) and 16.2 percent (P 749.9 million) respectively. These were followed by fuel with 14.2 percent (P658.2 million) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco with 14.1 percent (P651.5 million). Chemicals and rubber products contributed 10.6 percent (P490.8 million) to total imports during the month under review.

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