The total number of goods leaving and coming to the country increased in February according to Statistics Botswana’s latest figures.
Stats Botswana said in the International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) Monthly Digest, which presents statistics on Botswana’s total imports and exports of goods at the end of February 2017, that during the period total imports were valued at P4, 203.8 million, showing an increase of 31.3% (P1, 001.8 million) from the January value of P3, 202.0 million.
On the other hand, total exports were valued at P6, 763.0 million, showing an increase of 6.1% (P389.4 million) from the January 2017 value of P6, 373.6 million. The numbers agency revealed that all commodity groups recorded increases in imports during February 2017.
“Fuel recorded the highest increase in value terms, of P215.9 million (49.7%) from P434.1 million in January 2017 to P650.1 million in February 2017, followed by Diamonds with an increase of P130.5 million (16.9%) from P771.8 million to P902.3 million. Machinery & Electrical Equipment recorded an increase of P109.5 million (21.0%) from P522.4 million to P631.9 million during the periods under consideration,” it said.
However, in comparison of import figures for February 2017 and February 2016 shows a decrease of 28.9% (P1, 710.3 million), from P5, 914.1 million recorded during February 2016 to P4, 203.8 million recorded during the reference month.
“The decrease was mainly due to the 62.9 percent (P1, 527.8 million) decrease in the import value of Diamonds, from P2, 430.1 million during February 2016 to P902.3 million in February 2017.”
The increase in exports is mainly due to a rise of 7.2% (P424.2 million) in diamond exports, from P5, 924.3 million in January 2017 to P6, 348.5 million in February 2017.
Vehicles & Transport Equipment is another commodity that contributed significantly to the increase in total exports, having recorded an increase of more than 100 percent (P21.5 million), from P13.4 million during January 2017 to P34.9 million during February 2017. Vehicles & Transport Equipment group contains mainly re-exports.
The total exports value for February 2017 compared to that of the same month in 2016 shows an increase of 5.0% (P324.4 million) from P6, 438.6 million to P6, 763.0 million. The increase is mainly attributed to the rise in exports of Diamonds, which rose by 16.4 percent (P894.7 million) from P5, 453.9 million in February 2016 to P6, 348.5 million during the period under review. Botswana recorded a trade surplus of P2, 559.2 million in February 2017. This follows another trade surplus in January 2017, which was of a higher magnitude (P3, 171.6 million) as compared to the current one.