Export of diamonds dropped by 28.1%
Botswana’s total export value decreased by P2.3 billion (27 percent ) from the revised figure of P8.6 billion recorded in January 2021 to P8.5 billion during January 2021 to P6.3 billion recorded in February 2021, this publication has established.
According to the International Merchandise Trade Statistics Digest of February 2021 recently released by Statistics Botswana, the considerable decrease in the country’s export bill is largely due to a drop of 28.1 percent in the value of exports of diamonds from P8.2 billion to P5.9 billion.
But diamonds remained the most exported commodity group. They were followed by Machinery & Electrical Equipment at 2.3 percent of total exports. Statistics Botswana says for the period under review, the country’s exports went mainly to Asia that received 66.7 percent (P4.2 billion) of total exports.
“These exports were mostly destined to the UAE and India, having received 31.3 percent (P1.9 billion) and 17.1 percent (P1.08 billion) of total exports respectively,” said Statistics Botswana. “Diamonds accounted for 100 percent of exports to each of the countries (UAE and India).”
On the other hand, Botswana’s import bill stood at P6.3 billion, reflecting a reduction of 12.3 percent from the revised January 2021 value of P7.2 billion. According to Statistics Botswana, the decline of 37.7 percent (P1.2 billion) in importation of diamonds had a substantial effect on the overall drop in total imports value.
Diamonds nevertheless contributed the most to imports at 33 percent (P2.086 billion) followed by Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Fuel followed at 12.4 percent each, with values of P784.2 million and P784.1 million respectively.
According to Statistics Botswana, the SACU region contributed 63.8 percent (P4 03 billion) to total imports during the reference period. The topmost imported commodity groups from the SACU region were Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Fuel with contributions of 18.7 percent each at values of P754.4 million and P752.1 million of total imports from the region respectively.
“South Africa contributed 55.3 percent (P3.4 billion) to total imports during February 2021,” Statistics Botswana noted. “Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 21.3 percent (P744.4 million) of imports from that country. Fuel and Machinery & Electrical Equipment accounted for 17.7 percent (P617.0 million) and 15.1 percent (P526.9 million) respectively. Chemicals & Rubber Products made a contribution of 12.5 percent (P437.5 million) to imports from South Africa during the month under review.”