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Exports Massively Decline In June

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Trade deficit reaches P6.3 billion

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

As COVID-19 takes a toll on the economy, Botswana’s overall exports in June 2020 decreased by P70.3 percent (P2.2 billion) to P943.5 million compared to the revised May 2020 value of P3.1 billion.

This is according to International Merchandise Trade Statistics Digest of June 2020 released by Statistics Botswana mid-September.
The decline is attributed to reduced diamond exports during the period that contributed negative 75.1 percentage points to the overall change in total exports.
According to the Digest, 58.2 percent (P549.5 million) of the country’s total export bill in June 2020 was attributed to diamonds nonetheless.
“Machinery and Electrical Equipment contributed 10.7 percent (P101.3 million), while Salt & Soda Ash made a contribution of 8.2 percent (P77.1 million) to total exports during the period under review,” the report by Statistics Botswana indicates.
The government statistics agency shows that during the period under review, Botswana’s exports were mostly absorbed by the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) with a market share of 41.3 percent. South Africa topped the charts with 38.8 percent of total exports.
Botswana recorded a trade deficit of P6.3 billion during the period. By comparison, Botswana’s imports stood at P7.2 billion, displaying an increase of 45.4 percent from the revised May 2020 value of P4.9 billion. Diamonds worth P3.4 billion were imported into the country during the period. Diamond imports contributed 49.2 percentage points to the overall increase in total imports in June 2020.
“The positive contribution made by diamond imports was however counteracted by the negative contribution made by the fall in Fuel and Vehicles & Transport Equipment imports, which contributed negatively by 9.3 and 7.2 percentage points respectively, to the overall increase in June 2020,” Statistics Botswana indicated.

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