Tanzania Records Sharp Decline in Gold Exports
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has said Tanzania’s current account deficit narrowed 11 percent in the year to November despite a sharp fall in gold exports as declining crude oil prices curbed the import bill.
The BoT’s latest monthly economic report issued last week said the gap narrowed to $4.755 billion in the 12 months to November from $5.342 billion in the same period in 2013, IPP Media reported Monday.
In the same vein, current transfers inflows declined substantially, albeit with limited impact on the overall current account balance. Current transfers comprise aid and loans.
Tanzania is one of Africa’s biggest per-capita aid recipients.
A group of international donors said in October they will only pay outstanding pledges of budget support worth nearly $500 million if the government took appropriate action against graft allegations in the energy sector.
Current transfers fell to $513.1 million in the year to November, a 35.1 percent drop from $790.5 million previously.
The bank said overall balance of payments swung into a deficit of $259.9 million from a surplus of $538.4 million in the year ending November 2013. Earnings from tourism, the main foreign exchange source, rose to $1.93 billion from $1.85 billion previously due to more visitor arrivals.
Imports of goods and services were $13.347 billion, a 6.1 percent decline from a year before, helped by falling global oil prices and lower machinery imports.
Earnings from gold, the other main source of foreign income, continued a downward spiral, falling 32.45 percent to $1.29 billion, reflecting lower export volumes and global prices.
Tanzania, which has a population of around 45 million, is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.
The value of traditional exports – such as tobacco, cotton and coffee – fell to $785.1 million from $867.1 million previously due to a decline in export volumes and prices.