Botswana Records P1.7bn Trade Deficit In August

Total exports down by 10.7%, imports up by 17.8 percent


After recording a trade surplus of P373.2 million in July, Botswana registered a trade deficit of P1.7 billion in August, the International Merchandise Trade Statistics Digest of August 2021 released by Statistics Botswana has reported.

The same report shows that in August 2021, total export value fell by 10.7 percent from the revised July 2021 figure of P7.8 billion to P6.9 billion. “This was attributed largely to the decrease in diamond exports by 15.8 percent from the revised July 2021 value of P7.1 billion to P5.9 billion,” Statistics Botswana says in the report.

Diamonds nevertheless accounted for 85.7 percent of the country’s total exports followed by Copper & Nickel and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with 5.3 percent (P370.6 million) and 2.3 percent (P157.6 million) respectively. The report notes that the contribution of the Copper & Nickel group is solely attributable to Copper & Copper Concentrates which are mined by a new company that started exporting during July 2021.

Statistics Botswana also states that Asia was the main destination for Botswana exports during August 2021, having received 58.2 percent of total exports. “These exports mostly went to India and the UAE, as they received 17.7 percent (P1, 238.3 million) and 16.8 percent (P1, 175.3 million) of total exports, respectively,” says the report. “The top most exported commodity to the regional block was Diamonds.”

On the other hand, Botswana’s import bill increased by 17.8 percent from the revised July 2021 value of P7.3 billion to P8.6 billion during August 2021. Statistics Botswana says the increase is mainly due to the rise in the importation of Diamonds from the revised July 2021 figure of P2.1 billion to P3.4 billion during the period when Diamonds contributed 40.1 percent to total imports. Fuel and Machinery & Electrical Equipment followed with contributions of 12.3 percent and 10.4 percent respectively.

According to Statistics Botswana, in August 2021 South Africa contributed 58.0 percent to total imports. Diamonds accounted for 17.3 percent (P870.7 million) of imports from that country. Fuel and Food, Beverages & Tobacco made contributions of 16.2 percent (P818.6 million) and 15.1 percent (P763.0 million), respectively, to imports from South Africa.

Namibia contributed 7.9 percent (P690.6 million) to overall imports during the period under review. Diamonds were the main commodity group imported from that country at 76.5 percent (P528.1 million).