May 2020 fuel imports double, against May 2019
Botswana’s fuel consumption increased by almost 100 percent in May 2020 as compared to the same period last year, figures published by Statistics Botswana in the International Merchandise Trade Statistics report of May 2020 shows.
According to the report, during May 2020, fuel contributed the most to Botswana’s total imports at 22.8 percent which translates just over P1 billion as compared to the contribution of 10.1 percent, around P654.3 million it made in May 2019.
The Statistics Botswana report also shows that for the period under review, the country received total imports amounting to P4.4 billion amounting to a massive increase of over 100 percent (P3 billion) from P1.3 billion in April 2019.
Diamonds were the second most imported (after fuel) as they contributed 22.0 percent (P974.1 million). Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Chemicals & Rubber Products made contributions of 12.7 percent (P564.2 million) and 11.0 percent (P448.5 million) to the country’s total imports respectively.
Meanwhile, during May 2020, the country’s overall exports amounted to P274.6 million, representing a considerable rise of 87.7 percent (P128.3 million) when compared to the revised April 2020 value of P146.3 million. During the period under review, Botswana’s exports were mostly absorbed by Southern African Customs Union (SACU) with a market stake of 70.7 percent; South Africa received 67.0 percent of total exports during the month under review. Namibia accounted for 3.7 percent of the export market share. The most exported commodities from Botswana were Diamonds, Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash at 25.1 percent, 24.2 percent and 16.9 percent respectively.
The government statistics agency attributed the substantial increase in both imports and exports to the lifting of the COVID 19 restrictions with effect from the 21st May 2020.
BUT WHICH MODE OF TRANSPORT IS MOSTLY USED TO IMPORT AND EXPORT GOODS?
Total imports amounting to over P2billion which represents 46.5 percent were transported into the country by road with P159.9 million of exports also being transported by road.
The massive road usage proves why the transport and logistics industry is always declared as essential during country’s lockdowns. Transportation of imports by rail and air transport accounted for 31.9 percent (P1.4 billion) and 21.5 percent (P954.6 million), respectively during May 2020 while transportation of exports by Air transport accounted for 40.2 percent (P110.3 million).
South Africa was the major source of Botswana’s imports with a contribution of 65.5 percent of the country’s total imports followed by Namibia with 16.5 percent (P729.5 million). The two countries also received a chunk of Botswana’s exports with South Africa receiving 67 percent (P184 million) whereas Namibia got 3.7 percent (P10.1 million).