Improvement in the value of manufactured goods and minerals, excluding gold, helped raise Tanzania’s earnings from non-traditional exports by 1.4 percent to slightly over US$4billion in the year ended May 2014, compared to the corresponding period last year, according to the latest review by the Bank of Tanzania.
In the just released Monthly Economic Review for June 2014, the central bank said the value of gold exports fell by US$230.7 million to US$1.7 billion due to a fall in export volume and price.
Though gold continued to dominate Tanzania’s non-traditional exports, its share in this category also fell to 43.6 percent from 50.1 percent recorded in the preceding year.
Tanzania’s non-traditional exports included horticultural products, vegetables, fish and fish products, processed hides and skins, oilseeds and cereals,
”Receipts from gold export declined for the past three years,” said the report, noting that earnings from traditional exports — coffee, cashew nuts, tea and cotton — also declined on account of a fall in export volumes and unit prices.
Economic analysts, however, said the price of gold went down in May 2014 largely due to an increase in alternative investment on equities.
The value of traditional exports amounted to US$843.2 million in the year ended May 2014, compared with US$852.5 million recorded in the previous year.
Meanwhile, receipts from services amounted to US$3.3 billion in the year ended May 2014, compared to US$2.9 billion recorded in the preceding year, mainly driven by the increase in tourist arrivals in the country. The arrivals accounted for a 10.7 percent increase in travel receipts amounting to US$ 1.9 billion.
”Transport receipts went up by 15.1 percent to US$803.6 million following increased transit goods to and from neighbouring countries. Transit goods increased to 1.4 million metric tons from 1.2 million metric tons recorded in the preceding corresponding year — with Zambia, DR Congo and Rwanda taking the lead,” the report said.
On world commodity prices, the bank reported that during May 2014 monthly average world market prices for some agricultural and non-agricultural commodities decreased with the exception of tea and crude oil.
The bank further explained: ”The increase in price of tea was partly attributed to high demand in European and Middle East countries while that of crude oil was largely attributed to supply disruption in Libya, geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and increase in demand from Asian Pacific countries.
”Prices of tea (at Mombasa auction) fell during the month, mainly due to speculation that the supply of tea in Kenya will increased following improved weather condition. Likewise, the prices of coffee declined due to a rise in stocks in Vietnam.”
Price of cotton declined largely due to weak demand from China following the slowdown in economic growth. The prices of sisal and cloves remained unchanged