Trade surplus hits billion mark

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The trade balance for March recorded a bumper surplus of over P1 billion as increased diamond sales powered exports up by 17 percent against a modest three percent rise in imports.

Figures released by Statistics Botswana (SB) this week indicate that in March there was a trade surplus of P1.01 billion, a 255 percent jump from the February surplus of P284.5 million. Anchoring March's 17 percent rise in exports was an P800 million jump in diamonds sales to P5.3 billion while copper exports weighed in with an increase from P243 million to P438 million. On a year-on-year basis, the March 2013 total exports increased by slightly over a 100 percent from the total value from the March 2012 figure, which stood at P3.1 billion.

Diamond trade, which comprises both rough and polished stones, accounted for over 85.5 percent (P5.3 billion) of exports. Copper and nickel, machinery and electrical equipment (mainly re-exports) contributed 7.1 percent (P438 million) and 2.1 percent (P130 million) respectively.

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