Southern Times Writer
Harare – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the largest destination for Botswana exports, having received 25.3 percent of total exports in August 2019, according to the recently published merchandise trade data by Statistics Botswana.
India and Belgium followed with 19.7 percent and 12.6 percent respectively. South Africa received 12.4 percent of total exports. Asia as a regional bloc received 63.7 percent of Botswana’s total exports during the month under review. The EU got 16.7 percent while SACU received exports accounting for 15.4 percent.
“Botswana mostly exported diamonds, accounting for 87.3 percent of total exports during the month under review. Machinery and transport equipment contributed 4.2 percent while meat and meat products and salt and soda ash contributed 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. AÇU as a region contributed 78.1 percent to total imports during August 2019. Most of the imports from SACU came from South Africa followed by Namibia, accounting for 67.4 percent and 10.5 percent respectively, of total imports value for the month.
“Imports from Asia and the European Union (EU) regions made contributions of 10.5 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. Canada and USA respectively contributed 3.7 percent and 1.5 percent of imports into Botswana. The country’s imports were led by diamonds with a contribution of 18.2 percent followed by food, beverages and tobacco at 15.9 percent. Machinery and electrical equipment and fuel contributed 15.3 percent and 13.1 percent respectively to total imports during August 2019.
“During August 2019, Botswana’s total exports amounted to P3, 700.4 million, resulting in an increase of 39.2 percent (P1, 041.5 million) compared to the revised July 2019 value of P2, 658.9 million. The increase is mainly associated with rise of 43.4 percent (P978.3 million) in diamonds exports during August 2019 compared to the value recorded for the previous month” stated the monthly digest.
The digest further highlighted that the effect of increase in diamonds exports contributed 36.8 percentage points to the overall increase in total exports during the period under review. Comparison of total exports value for August 2019 and August 2018 shows a fall of 4.4 percent (P163.5 million) from P3, 863.9 million recorded in August 2018 to P3, 700.4 million during the current period. The decline in total exports was mainly influenced by the collective decreases in meat and meat products exports, machinery and electrical equipment and diamonds.
Reports from Dubai show that the UAE has emerged as one of the world’s largest diamond trading hub. The free trade policies have encouraged traders from all over the world to set base in Dubai, including most of the large diamond companies in India. Until now, the diamond trading has become one of the leading imports in Dubai. The UAE statistics revelled that gold and diamonds were among the most popular imports into the UAE in the first three months of the year, with the country’s consumers buying about 200,000 kilogrammes of the materials, valued at around Dh37.9 billion, according to data from the Federal Customs Authority.