As a firm specialising in market research and data analysis through surveys, feasibility studies and polls, among others, we hope to bring valuable insights through today’s article as we focus on statistics about international trade as reported in the March 2023 edition of Statistics Botswana’s International Merchandise Trade Statistics.
Basically, International Merchandise Trade Statistics measures the movement of goods across the border to and from Botswana. During the month of March alone, the report shows that Botswana’s imports declined by 0.1 percent as compared to the month of February 2023. However, the same period recorded an increase in exports by 25.7 percent as compared to the same preceding month, February 2023.
During the same period, the report also shows that most of Botswana’s imports largely came from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which constituted 75.1 percent of all imports, while those from Asia and the European Union (EU) accounted for 9.4 percent and 3.5 percent of total imports, respectively. In total, the report shows that South Africa supplied 69.9 percent of total imports while imports from Canada and Namibia accounted for 6.8 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.
In regard to exports, the report shows that exports to Asia, the EU and SACU, represented 61.6 percent, 23.0 percent and 10.9 percent of the total exports respectively during the month of March 2023. The United Arab Emirates, Belgium, India and South Africa received exports amounting to 27.7 percent, 22.9 percent, 11.6 percent and 10.5 percent of the monthly total, respectively. On the other hand, exports to the USA constituted 2.7 percent of the total exports for the month.
A closer look at the trade balance for the period covering January 2021 to March 2023 shows that Botswana has excess exports over imports of P712.2 million.
Why is this important?
Based on the above trend, it is apparent that the country’s trade balance is on an upward trajectory. A surplus trade balance technically means that the country exported more products compared to its imports. The trade statistics play a crucial role in providing information regarding the country’s trade partners, which also lays the foundation for domestic suppliers to revamp their export marketing strategies.
For instance, the research shows that the main international trade partner for Botswana in terms of imports in the SACU region is South Africa, which might basically mean that the country also obtains some or most of its raw materials from there. On the other hand, the research also shows that Botswana obtains most of its foreign currency from the EU and SACU combined, which constitutes 61.6 percent of exports.
The main contributor to the increase in total exports was Diamonds, which constituted 34.8 percent of total exports in March 2023. This technically means that the diamond mining industry is improving in productivity and is also the main contributor of foreign currency earnings.
Research is key
It is imperative for a country to monitor its trade patterns because doing so helps in providing the business community with regular opportunities to track and review the latest developments in international markets, which in turn assists in their operations.
We hope that this article was insightful and that it demonstrated, to some extent, the importance of market research or data in business decision-making. As already stated, we offer market research and data analysis through surveys, feasibility studies and polls, among other data-related services.
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