UAE remains Botswana's top diamond export destination

It is concern to Botswana that its top export to the EU and Asia, diamonds, is also the country’s top import from the two regions

UAE remains Botswana's top diamond export destination

Latest Information released by the International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) monthly digest shows that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed the year at the helm of Botswana’s top export destinations.

According to the publication, most of Botswana’s exports were destined to Asia during December 2020, accounting for 67.9 percent of the monthly total. Of the 67.9 percent, 29.0 percent went to The United Arab Emirates (UAE) while India was second with 21.5 percent. Exports to both the UAE and India were mainly diamonds, with the diamonds accounting for 92.7 percent of total exports to the two destinations.

The European Union and SACU were a distant third and forth respectively at 18.2 percent and 10.2 percent respectively. In June 2020, exports to the EU, mainly through Belgium, topped the export list, also aided by diamond exports.

Botswana’s overall exports for December 2020 amounted to P5,872.4 million, displaying an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the November 2020 value of P5,543.5 million. The increase is mostly attributed to the rise in the value of diamonds.

The European Union as a bloc remains a contender for Botswana’s exports. Almost all exports destined to the EU were going to Belgium, having received 18.2 percent of total exports, wholly attributable to diamonds.

At the regional level, SACU is at the top Botswana’s exports. South Africa remains Botswana’s top export destination as it received 8.4 percent (P490.7 million) of total exports. Diamonds and gold accounted for 38.5 percent (P189.0 million) and 15.4 percent (P75.4 million) of total exports to Botswana’s neighbor to the south. Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash accounted 7.9 percent (P38.7 million) and 7.1 percent (P34.9 million) of the exports.

Botswana’s Imports for the same period amounted to P7, 650.8 million, an increase of 7.8 percent from the November 2020 value of P7, 094.3 million. During the same month, SACU was the major source of imports with a contribution of 57.2 percent while the EU and Asia accounted for 16.8 percent and 13.6 percent respectively.

Within the SACU region, South Africa was the main source of imports into Botswana with a contribution of 49.8 percent of total imports. Within the EU, Belgium contributed 10.6 percent while from Asia the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a contribution of 8.4 percent to the monthly total.

In December 2020, the EU region supplied Botswana with imports worth P1, 285.4 million, accounting for 16.8 percent of total imports. The major commodity group imported from the EU was diamonds, accounting for 62.9 percent (P808.7 million). Belgium was the major source of imports from the EU at 10.6 percent (P813.9 million) of total imports during the period under review.

Asia provided Botswana with imports valued at P1, 039.1 million, representing 13.6 percent of December 2020 total imports. The major commodity groups imported from the regional bloc were Diamonds, Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Vehicles & Transport Equipment at 70.8 percent (P735.6 million), 9.3 percent (P97.0 million) and 7.2 percent (P74.4 million), respectively. The UAE was the main source of imports from Asia at 8.4 percent (P646.4 million) during the month under review.

It remains an area of concern, however, that the country’s top export to the EU and Asia, diamonds, is also the country’s top import from the two regions.


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