Botswana records impressive trade deficit

Baitshepi Sekgweng
CORE TRADE DRIVER: Rough diamonds

Trade surplus propelled by strong diamond sales

Despite unstable markets due to various factors in the trading space, Botswana has recorded a trade surplus of P712.2 million during the month of March.

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This marks an improvement from February where the nation recorded a trade deficit of P1, 749.7 million.

In March alone, Botswana imported goods valued at P6, 937.5 million, registering a decrease of less than one percent from P6, 943.7 million recorded in February.

On the other hand, total exports went up by P1, 565.8 million, from P6, 083.8 million to reach a staggering P7, 649.7 million in March. The main contributor to the increase being diamonds which increased by 34.8 percent (P1,688.1 million) from the value of P4, 857.5 million to P6, 545.6 million.

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As a result diamonds continue to be the main core drivers of the local trade despite relatively low demand due to the recovery of the Chinese market following the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the exported merchandise valued at P7, 649.7 in March 2023, diamonds group accounted for P6, 545.6 million, followed by copper at P442.9 million.

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Meanwhile, De Beers’ fourth sales cycle of 2023 has peaked at $480 million. The provisional rough diamond sales follows previous strong performances of $604 million and $542 million during the last two cycles.

“Sales of our rough diamonds in the fourth sales cycle of the year saw a small decrease from the previous cycle as the industry has entered what is traditionally a seasonally quieter period. Rough diamond demand was also influenced by ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty and a slower pace of recovery in consumer demand from China than was widely anticipated,” said De Beers’ Chief Executive Officer, Al Cook.

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