The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Monthly Economic Review of August 2020 shows that in the year ending July 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 9,815.3 million in the year ending July 2020 compared with USD 8,706.6 million in the year ending July 2019.
Exports of goods rose to USD 6,202.1 million from USD 4,589.3 million and accounted for 64.7% of total exports from 52.5%.
In July 2020, the value of exports of goods and services amounted to USD 786 million, higher compared with USD 759.3 million in July 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.
Traditional exports doubled to USD 1,016.5 million in the year ending July 2020 from USD 503.3 million in the corresponding period in 2019, and accounted for 16.4% of exports of goods and 10.6% of exports of goods and services.
The increase was manifested in exports of cashew nuts, cotton, cloves and sisal. Cashew nuts and sisal exports rose on account of an increase in both volume and prices.
Exports of cashew nuts, cotton and cloves rose due to the increase in volume as a result of high production.
Non-traditional exports improved to USD 4,869.9 million in the year ending July 2020 compared with USD 3,680.5 million in the corresponding period in 2019.
The export value was 50.8% of export of goods and services and 78.5% of exports of goods.
Much of the increase was driven by the export of gold and horticultural products.
Export of gold increased by 52.8% to USD 2,728.7 million in the year ending July 2020, and accounted for 56.0% of value of nontraditional exports and 44.0% 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 from an average of USD 1,278.4 per troy ounce in the year ending July 2019 to USD 1,598.6 per troy ounce in the year ending July 2020, driven by 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 266.8 million in July 2020 compared with USD 129.4 million in the corresponding month in 2019. The increase was mostly due to price effects.
Service receipts amounted to USD 3,383.1 million in the year ending July 2020, lower than USD 4,152.4 million in July 2019.
Travel receipts, which mainly comprise receipts from tourism, declined by 25.8% to USD 1,885.7 million following a decrease in number of tourist arrivals due to COVID-19 pandemic.
This was due to measures adopted by many countries to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included suspension of international flights and lockdowns.
Despite the low performance, the share of travel receipts in earnings from services remain dominant, accounting for 55.7%.