Last Updated
Monday 27 July 2015, 18:03 pm.
Trade deficit swells to record P16bn

The country's trade deficit grew to a record P15.9 billion in 2012, powered by the relocation in July of diamond aggregation activities from London to Gaborone.
By Staff Writer Wed 29 Jul 2015, 04:37 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Trade deficit swells to record P16bn








Preliminary trade data from Statistics Botswana indicate that merchandise imports in 2012 amounted to P61.4 billion, exceeding exports which were valued at P45.5 billion. Last year's trade imbalance represented the fifth year of rolling trade deficits.

According to the data, the running monthly deficits in 2012 peaked in July at P6.7 billion. This was due to the relocation of diamond aggregation activities from the De Beers' controlled Diamond Trading Company (DTC) International in London to Botswana. "The peak in imports curve in July 2012 was when the DTC International relocated from London to Gaborone," the data agency said in a trade digest released last Friday.

"As a result, diamonds that were still in the London office had to be exported to Botswana. This led to very high value of imports during that particular month, which ended in a very high trade deficit." DTC International's aggregation, sales and marketing activities have been relocated to Botswana under a 2011 agreement between De Beers and the government. Aggregation, which involves the blending of categories of rough diamonds like-for-like regardless of their country of origin, then splitting them into appropriate types and quantities, began in Gaborone

last July with an auction held in August.

After the auction, parcels of diamonds were sent from Gaborone to the DTC's contract clients in the UK, Canada, South Africa and Namibia, with the balance remaining in Botswana for local clients. Statistics Botswana figures show that in July, rough diamond imports amounted to P4.9 billion from an average of P667 million for the three months preceding because of the parcels from London. "The aggregation process in Botswana continued through the months of July and August 2012 whereas the only exports of diamonds, were through diamond polishing or manufacturing companies," Statistics Botswana said.

"The first batch of aggregated diamonds was exported during September 2012, leading to a peak in exports during that month."The revelation of a record trade deficit for 2012 comes hot on the heels of a P21 billion drawdown of the Pula Fund by the Bank of Botswana. The central bank redirected the funds to the Liquidity Portfolio, a portion of the foreign exchange reserves set aside for the economy's short-term requirements.

Bank of Botswana officials said rising imports and the need to service external debts had necessitated the drawdown.



Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   10.0705
1 GBP = Pula   15.6740
1 EUR = Pula   11.1483
1 YEN = Pula   0.0816
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7999
1 Pula = USD   0.0993
1 Pula = GBP   0.0638
1 Pula = EUR   0.0897
1 Pula = YEN   12.26
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2501
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Monday, 27 Jul 2015
DOMESTIC STOCKS
BARCLAYS
433
BIHL
1415
CHOBE
600
CHOPPIES
490
CRESTA
100
ENGEN
817
FNBB
392
FSG
260
FURNMART
159
G4S
349
LETLOLE
222
LETSHEGO
326
NAP
242
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
286
RDCP
230
SECHABA
2850
SEFALANA
1251
STANCHART
1270
TURNSTAR
272
WIL
470
IMARA
274
have a story? Send us a Tip
  • Previous
    Pixels Poster
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 24 Jul - Thursday 30 Jul :::
    Pixels
    Entourage
    Black Sea
    Cut Bank
    Minions
  • Previous
    Minions Poster
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 24 Jul - Thursday 30 Jul :::
    Minions
    Terminator Genisys
    Entourage
    Pixels
  • Previous
    Pixels Poster
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 24 Jul - Thursday 30 Jul :::
    Pixels
    Entourage
    Minions
    Terminator Genisys
    Magic Mike XXL
    Ted 2
Selefu
Motswaledi report