Sunday, July 3, 2022

Botswana’s trade deficit continued in November

An account of goods sold by the country to foreign markets during the month of November 2021 shows an 18 percent upward movement with the hike attributed to diamonds. Botswana’s exportation of Diamonds in November rose by 16.3 percent (P707.4 million) from the revised October 2021value of P4, 343.6 million to P5, 051.0 million.

According to Statistics Botswana (SB)’s International Merchandise Trade brief, the country’s total exports value during November 2021 went up by 18.0 percent (P901.3 million), from the revised October 2021 figure of P5, 013.8 million to P5, 915.0 million.

On the other end, total imports during the same month were valued at P8, 302.8 million, reflecting a decrease of 7.7 percent from the revised October 2021 value of P8, 991.0 million. Just like on the exports side, the leading import commodity groups during the reporting period were Diamonds (35.3%). While Botswana has been a major producer of rough diamonds, the tiny southern African nation imports diamonds from mines outside its borders owned by its technical partner De Beers Mining Company. The imported rough diamonds are then sorted, valued and sold from Gaborone to international markets. Other commodities in the leading pack entailed Fuel, Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with contributions of 13.3 percent, 12.4 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.

TRADE IMBALANCE

With the country’s imports value pegged at P8, 302.8 million, representing a decline of 7.7 percent and total exports value reaching P901.3 million, the country’s trade deficit reached P2, 387.8 million.

The country’s continued growing deficits, recorded for most months in 2020 and 2021 have reversed gains made in the five-year period of consecutive trade balance surpluses that started in 2014, though the surpluses were growing smaller in size. In 2020 Botswana registered a P25.9 billion trade deficit, the largest trade imbalance on record. The historic deficit extended the P14.2 billion shortfall recoded in 2019, the third highest since 2012’s trade shortfall of P16.3 billion.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper