THE export of goods and services improved slightly to over 20.17tri/-(8,770.6 million US dollars) in the year ending August from 20.03tri/-(8,713.2 million US dollars) in the corresponding period 2018, contributed largely to the increase in the value of nontraditional goods exports and services receipts.
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT), monthly economic review for September shows that the value of nontraditional exports increased by 48.5 percent to 1.22tri/- (532.9 million US dollars) in the reference period, driven by minerals, particularly gold, manufactured goods and horticultural products.
Gold export rose by 25.1 percent to 4.40tri/-(1,915.3 million US dollars), driven by volume, and accounted for more than half of nontraditional exports.
The increase in export of manufacturing goods manifested mostly in manufactured coffee, yarn and twine, iron and steel and fertilizers.
Foreign exchange earnings from services amounted to 659.41bn/-(286.7 million US dollars) in August compared with 660.33bn/- (287.1 million US dollars) in July accounting for 31.1 percent of total exports.
All services categories recorded decline in earnings, except financial services; telecommunication, computer and information services and personal, cultural and recreational services.
Traditional goods exports was 102.12m/-(44.4 million US dollars) compared with 29.67m/-(12.9 million US dollars) in the preceding month, as all traditional export crops improved except coffee and tea.
The value of traditional goods exports fell by 55 percent year on year to 1.17tr/-(508.8 million US dollars) in the year ending August. The value of all traditional goods exports declined save for coffee.
The value of coffee exports rose on account of increase in volume following good weather during the crop season while that of cashew nuts declined due to fall in both volume and unit prices in the world market.
The value of cloves, tobacco and sisal export decreased on account of volume, while that of tea was driven by price in the world market. Cloves did not perform well due to the cyclical nature of the crop.
The value of traditional goods exports is expected to improve partly due to various initiatives to improve value addition and marketing.
During the period under review, the current account balance was a deficit of 5.02tri/-(2,185.4 million US dollars) compared with a deficit of 3.84tri/- (1,670.1 million US dollars) in the year ending August 2018.
This was driven by increase in capital and intermediate goods imports for various development projects, coupled with a decrease in official current transfers, particularly transfers related to project support.
As a result, the overall balance of payments was a deficit of 2.20tri/-(959.6 million US dollars) compared with a deficit of 434.93bn/-(189.1 million US dollars) in the year ending August 2018.