Tanzania: How Cloves and Seaweeds Push Up Zanzibar Exports

Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein (centre) and his Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi (in glasses left), get briefing from Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) staff on how they sort cloves prepared for sell (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Zanzibar's foreign exchange earnings increased by 21.8 per cent in the year ending July 2020, thanks to an improvement in exports of cloves and seaweeds.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Monthly Economic Review (MER) for August 2020 indicates that earnings from exports of goods and services increased to $230.9 million during the year ending July 2020 compared to $189.6 million earned during the same period last year.

The amount of clove exports surged by $17.4 million to $18.6 million in July 2020, a difference of $1.2 million, from July 2019.

This was largely due to increased export volumes.

A total of 3,900 tonnes were exported during the period under review, compared to 200 tonnes that was exported in the corresponding month last year.

However, in the same period the price for cloves per tonne decreased from $6,800 to $4,838.6 as recorded in the same period this year.

Meanwhile, seaweeds earnings also surged by 33.8 percent to $5.39 million in July 2020 from $4 million a year ago. A total of 8,000 tonnes of seaweeds, worth $5.39 million were exported during the year ending July 2020, compared to 8,700 tonnes, valued at $4 million, that were exported during the year ending July 2019.

Prices for seaweed per tonne increased by 45.2 per cent to $674.7 in July from $464.8 as recorded a year ago.

Fish and fish products also showed a significant increase to $1.09 million from $871,000 as recorded in July 2019.

BoT reported that the surge in imports of capital goods pushed Zanzibar's total imports of goods and services to $389.9 million in the year ending July 2020 up from $293.4 million in the corresponding period in 2019.

"The main drivers of the growth in capital goods imports were machinery including boilers, electrical machinery and equipment; and building and construction materials, particularly iron bars and iron sheets," BoT report reads in part.

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