The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Monthly Economic Review of September 2020 shows that in the year ending August 2020 exports continued to improve as many economies were re-opened from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Exports of goods and services amounted to USD 9,300.2 million in the year ending August 2020 (+3.6%) compared with USD 8,972.2 million in the year ending August 2019.
In August 2020, the value of exports of goods and services amounted to USD 689.3 million, 29.3% less than USD 973.8 million in August 2019.
The decline occurred in service receipts, which mainly comprises receipts from tourism. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism decreased due to travel restrictions and lockdown in source countries.
Exports of goods rose to USD 6,199.1 million (+29.9%) and accounted for 66.7% of total exports from USD 4,770.4 million and 53.2% in 2019.
Traditional exports doubled to USD 995.6 million in the year ending August 2020 from USD 512.5 million in the corresponding period in 2019.
The increase was manifested in exports of cashew nuts, cotton, cloves, and sisal. Sisal exports rose on account of an increase in both volume and unit prices.
Exports of cashew nuts, cotton, and cloves rose due to the increase in volume as a result of high production.
Non-traditional exports increased by 27.4% to USD 4,888.5 million in the year ending August 2020 compared with USD 3,836 million in the corresponding period in 2019, mainly on account of an increase in the exports value of minerals and manufactured goods.
Non-traditional exports accounted for 52.6% of all Tanzanian exports and 78.9% of goods exports.
Export of gold increased by 42.9% to USD 2,734.6 million in the year ending August 2020, and accounted for 55.9% of the value of non-traditional exports and 44.1% of total exports of goods.
The increase was largely on account of volume and price effects. The price of gold in the world market rose by more than 20% from an average of USD 1,303.3 per troy ounce in the year ending August 2019 to USD 1,637.6 per troy ounce in the year ending August 2020, driven by the rising preference of investors over gold as alternative financial assets in the wake of COVID-19.
On month-to-month, the export of gold amounted to USD 276.5 million in August 2020 (+2.1) compared with USD 270.6 million in the corresponding month in 2019. The increase was mostly due to price effects.
Service receipts amounted to USD 3,101.1 million in the year ending August 2020, 26.2% less than USD 4,202.2 million in August 2019.
Travel receipts, which mainly comprise receipts from tourism, declined by 35.8% to USD 1,660.9 million following a decrease in the number of tourist arrivals.
This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted by many countries to limit its spread which included the suspension of international flights and lockdowns.
Despite the low performance, the share of travel receipts in earnings from services remains dominant, accounting for 53.6%.