Tanzania: Zanzibar Current Account Deficit Widens

ZANZIBAR current account recorded deficit of 168.13bn/- (73.1 million US dollars) in the year ending September compared to surplus of 6.44bn/- (2.8 million US dollars) in the similar period last year due to increase in imports coupled with decline in exports.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for October, the value of goods and services exports declined by 12.7 percent from the amount recorded a year earlier to 471.5bn/-(205.0 million US dollars) driven by goods exports.

The value of goods exports fell by 81.2 percent to 28.06bn/-(12.2 million US dollars) largely on account of a decline in the volume of cloves exported associated with cyclical nature of the crop.

Cloves worth 5.29bn/- (2.3 million US dollars) were exported during the year to September 2019 compared with 114.08bn/-(49.6 million US dollars) exported in the year ending September 2018.

Likewise exports value of seaweeds, the second major export commodity, declined by 15.7 percent to 10.12bn/- (4.4 million US dollars).

On the other hand, export value of fish and fish products grew significantly on account of continued improvement of fish farming and higher demand in the neighbouring countries.

Receipts from services increased to 443.67bn/-(192.9 million US dollars) in the year ending September 2019 from 391.23bn/-(170.1 million US dollars) in the corresponding period in 2018 owing to increase in earnings from tourism related activities.

Imports of goods and services amounted to 545.1bn/- (237.0 million US dollars) in the year ending September 2019, an increase of 18.1 percent from the corresponding period in 2018.

Imports of intermediate and consumer goods, as well as payments for services were the major drivers.

Noteworthy, goods imports accounted for 71.7 percent of imports of goods and services during the year ending September 2019.

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