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Botswana records trade deficit as exports decline 55.2%

Latest figures released by government owned statistics entity, Statistics Botswana this week show that Botswana recorded a trade deficit in October 2022, as the country continue to face challenges in building an export led manufacturing sector that can also supply the local market with goods.

In October 2022 Botswana exported goods worth P3, 968.9 million and imported P7, 012.9 million worth of goods, resulting in a trade deficit of P3, 044.0 million, according to the figures.

According to figures from Statistics Botswana’ International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) monthly update that provides a summary of trade statistics on Botswana’s total imports and exports of goods, in October 2022 exports from the country declined by 55.2 percent from the September 2022 value. “Botswana’s total export value decreased by 55.2 percent (P4, 888.4 million), from the revised September 2022 figure of P8, 857.3 million to P3, 968.9 million in October 2022. The decline was attributed largely to the drop in diamonds exports, by 64.3 percent (P4, 982.8 million) from the revised September 2022 value of P7, 751.9 million to P2, 769.1 million.”

The leading export commodities during the month were diamonds which accounted for 69.8 percent (P2, 769.1 million) of total exports, followed by copper at 11.0 percent (P437.2 million), machinery & electrical equipment that contributed 5.0 percent (P200.3 million) to the monthly total value of exports.

Exports destined to Asia, the European Union (EU) and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) accounted for 47.2 percent, 23.1 percent and 22.2 percent of the total exports, respectively, during the month under review. “In October 2022, Asia was the top destination for Botswana exports, having received 47.2 percent (P1, 871.8 million) of total exports. These exports were mainly destined for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and India, which received 12.6 percent (P498.6 million), 9.7 percent (P383.8 million) and 7.9 percent (P315.0 million) of total exports, respectively. Diamonds and copper were the major commodity groups exported to Asia during the current period.”

The figures indicate that the EU received exports amounting to P918.4 million, representing 23.1 percent of total exports during the month and diamonds were the main commodity group exported to the union.Belgium received almost all the exports destined for the union, acquiring 99.8 percent (P916.1 million).”

“Exports destined to the SACU region amounted to P882.0 million, accounting for 22.2 percent of total exports. Diamonds, Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Live Cattle were the major commodity groups exported to SACU, accounting for 32.0 percent (P282.2 million), 20.0 percent (P176.1 million) and 15.4 percent (P136.2 million) of total exports to the customs union respectively. South Africa and Namibia were the main recipients of SACU destined exports at 20.2 percent (P802.2 million) and 2.0 percent (P79.7 million) of total exports respectively.”

International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) monthly update indicated that in October 2022 total imports to this country were valued at P7, 012.9 million, a decrease of 42.0 percent from the revised September 2022 value of P12, 084.8 million. The decline in imports is attributed to a reduction in diamonds imports by 79.1 percent (P4, 561.7 million) from the revised September 2022 figure of P 5, 763.4 million to P1, 201.7 million currently, according to the update.

In the update Statistics Botswana noted that the leading import commodity groups were fuel with 21.2 percent, followed by diamonds with a contribution of 17.1 percent to total imports and machinery & electrical equipment with 14.8 percent. “The top import groups were; Fuel, Diamonds and Machinery & Electrical Equipment. Fuel imports contributed 21.2 percent (P1, 490.0 million) of total imports. Diamonds and Machinery & Electrical Equipment followed with contributions of 17.1 percent (P1, 201.7 million) and 14.8 percent (P1, 038.4 million) to total imports, respectively.”

According to the Statistics entity, in October 2022, imports from SACU made a contribution of 72.7 percent, whilst those from Asia and the EU accounted for 12.9 percent and 6.2 percent of total imports respectively. Imports from South Africa accounted for 66.3 percent. “During the current month, South Africa supplied imports representing 66.3 percent (P4, 650.6 million) of total imports. Fuel and Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 23.9 percent (P1, 110.8 million) and 20.3 percent (P942.0 million) to total imports from that country, respectively. Machinery & Electrical Equipment followed with a contribution of 15.1 percent (P702.7 million) and Chemicals & Rubber Products contributed 12.4 percent (P576.0 million).”

The updated figures from the entity indicate that Asia supplied imports worth P902.9 million, representing 12.9 percent of Botswana’s total imports and added that the major commodity groups imported from the region were diamonds and machinery & electrical equipment, with contributions of 67.6 percent (P610.2 million) and 12.1 percent (P109.3 million) of total imports from the block, respectively. The Asian countries being Singapore contributed 7.4 percent (P516.3 million) to Botswana’s total imports. China and India followed with contributions of 1.9 percent each, to total imports during the month under review, at values of P132.7 million and P130.7 million respectively.

The entity noted that Botswana received imports worth P434.2 million (6.2 percent) from the EU in October 2022 and the major commodity groups imported from the region were machinery & electrical equipment and diamonds, at 38.7 percent (P168.1 million) and 37.5 percent (P162.9 million) of all imports from the union respectively.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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