Diamonds anchor P679m trade surplus

Healthy exports of rough and polished diamonds last October helped the local economy to its third consecutive trade surplus at P678.5 million, the longest positive streak since the third quarter of 2008.

Merchandise imports have outweighed exports since late 2008, as the global financial crisis eroded the values of key exports, while government's support of the economy through the period raised imports. Prior to August last year, only two surpluses had been recorded since September 2008, once in June 2010 and again in June 2011.

Preliminary Statistics Botswana figures released last week indicate that the swing back to trade surpluses that began in August 2012, persisted in October influenced mainly by diamond exports and a generally flat import bill.
For the month, Statistics Botswana estimated rough and polished diamond exports at P4.3 billion, down from P6.6 billion in September. Even with the 35 percent drop, October diamond exports still accounted for 87 percent of total exports which were estimated at P4.9 billion.

Editor's Comment
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