Botswana’s total goods shipped to the rest of the world declined in June as a result of drop in the value of diamonds leaving the country, Statistics Botswana’s International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) Monthly Digest data has shown.
The statistics body noted that in June 2016, total exports were valued at P8, 484.9 million, showing a decrease of 3.6% (P319.6 million) from the May 2016 revised value of P8, 804.4 million. “This is attributable to the decrease in exports of diamonds which recorded a drop of 5.3% (P420.3 million) from P7, 950.4 million recorded during May 2016 to P7, 530.1 million during the month under review,” it said.
However, diamonds are still Botswana’s major exports as 88.7% (P7, 530.1 million) was attributed to exports of these stones. These exports consist of diamonds from diamond polishing companies as well as those from the aggregation process.
Salt & Soda Ash and Textiles also contributed to the decrease in total exports. Salt & Soda Ash declined by 40.5% (P21.4 million) from P52.8 million to P31.4 million while Textiles dropped by 40.3% (P11.9 million) from P29.6 million during May 2016 to P17.6 million during the current period.
However, comparison of June 2016 total exports value to that of June 2015 shows an increase of 14.3% (P1, 060.0 million) from P7, 424.9 million recorded during June 2015 to P8, 484.9 million recorded during June 2016. This is mainly attributable to exports of diamonds, which increased by 18.3% from P6, 365.0 million during June 2015 to P7, 530.1 million during June 2016.
About 28.0% or (P2, 373.0 million) of the exports were destined to Africa with South Africa and Namibia respectively, received 15.7% (P1, 334.5 million) and 11.4% (P966.4 million) of total exports during the month under review.
Asia received exports valued at P3, 265.5 million, representing 38.5% of total exports (P8, 484.9 million) during June 2016. India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received 14.9% (P1, 261.7 million) and 11.1 percent (P941.4 million) respectively of total exports during the month under review. Israel, Singapore and Hong Kong respectively received 5.4% (P457.6 million), 4.5% (P385.2 million) and 1.3% (P112.7 million) of total exports during the same period.
Exports destined to the EU were valued at P2, 159.8 million, representing 25.5% of total exports during the period under review. Belgium received most exports destined to EU, having received 19.5% (P1, 657.1 million) while the United Kingdom (UK) got 5.4% (P460.0 million) of total exports during June 2016.
On the other hand, Statistics Botswana said June 2016 total imports were valued at P5, 833.5 million, showing an increase of 24.0% (P1, 129.0 million) from the revised May 2016 value of P4, 704.6 million. “This is attributable mainly to an increase in imports of Diamonds which rose by more than 100 percent (P904.4 million) from P638.4 million during May 2016 to P1, 542.8 million during June 2016.”
This Monthly Digest presents summaries of Total Merchandise Trade from January 2012 to June 2016. June 2016 shows a trade surplus of P2, 651.4 million, which was influenced by the high value of diamond exports while imports of the same commodity recorded a low value.