Tanzania Exports Shrink 3% in March 2017 but Gold and Cashew Nuts See Strong Growth

Tanzania Exports March 2017

The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) published its Monthly Economic Review of April 2017, showing that the annual export value of Tanzanian goods and services amounted to USD 8,921.7 million in the year ending March 2017, about -3.0% lower than the year ending March 2016. 

A decline occurred in manufactured goods and to a small extent in non-traditional exports; otherwise earnings from travel—which is mainly tourism—remained fairly unchanged over the two periods.

Traditional Exports
The performance of traditional exports was mixed across the categories during the year ending March 2017, with the total value increasing by USD 119.2 million to USD 872.8 million (+15.8%).

The export value of cashew nuts dominated the improvement, as it nearly doubled the value recorded in the year ending March 2016, on account of increase in both volume and price.

By contrast, export values of cloves, sisal, tea and tobacco declined. The decline in the values of sisal, tea and tobacco was in volume while that of cloves was of both volume and price.

BOT notes that the prices for most of the traditional exports declined consistent with the general trend in the world market.

Non-Traditional Exports
The value of non-traditional exports was USD 3,950.4 million in the year ending March 2017, lower than USD 4,380.2 million in the year ending March 2016 (-9.8%).

However, there were variations in performance across categories of non-traditional exports.

Export value of gold, which dominates non-traditional exports, rose by +23.9% to USD 1,494.1 million owing to a sustained recovery in gold price in the world market in the recent periods, as well as an increase in export volume.

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Exports of horticultural products also increased, by +6.3% to USD 25.2 million.

On the other hand, manufactured goods declined with most of the decline occurring in export value of iron and steel products and edible oil.

Tourism Exports
As regards foreign earnings from service, there was an increase to USD 3,616.2 million (+1.9%) in the year ending March 2017 from USD 3,547.1 million in the year ending March 2016, as a result of the increase in travel and transport receipts which rose by +2.3% and 4.5% respectively.

Travel receipts increased following an increase in the number of tourist arrivals while transport receipts increased on account of transit goods to and from neighboring countries.