EARNINGS from nontraditional exports jumped to 3,689.2 million US dollars (about 8.48tri/-) in the year ending July, this year, from 3,100.7 million US dollars (7.13tri/-) of the corresponding period 2018, thanks to the increase of export volume of gold and manufactured goods.
The value of gold exports, according to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for August increased to 1,783.8 million US dollars (about 4.10tri/-) in the reference period from 1,446.2 million US dollars (3.32tri/-) of the corresponding period, a year earlier.
The value of gold exported that accounts for more than 40 per cent of non-traditional exports, grew at annual rate of 23.3 per cent because of increase in export volume. Non-traditional exports accounted for about 80 per cent of goods exports.
Foreign exchange earnings from exports of services, accounted for about 46.2 per cent of total exports that rose to 3,987.3 million US dollars (9.17tri/-) in the year ending July from 3,898.5 million US dollars (8.96tri/) in the corresponding period last year.
The increase was driven by receipts from travel, which is dominated by receipt from tourism. Tourism receipts rose by 3.6 per cent to 2,412 million US dollars (5.54tri/-) from 2,320.7 million US dollars (5.33tri/-) owing to increase in the number of tourist arrivals.
However, a BoT report shows that traditional exports fell to 499.2 million US dollars (1.14tri/-) from 1,113.9 million US dollars (2.56tri/-) in the corresponding period in 2018, as all exports of traditional goods declined, except coffee and cotton.
The trend is expected to improve in the wake of measures implemented to improve the value chain of exports.
Furthermore, the overall balance of payments posted a deficit of 1,158.4 million US dollars (2.66tri/-) in the year ending July compared to a surplus of 343.3 million US dollars (789.59bn/-) in the corresponding period in 2018, on widening current account deficit.
The current account registered a deficit of 2,316.5 million US dollars (5.32tri/-) from a deficit of 1,849.1 million US dollars (4.25tri/-), owing to increase in imports of goods and a decline in official current transfers.
Nonetheless, the current account deficit remained favourable at around 3.8 per cent of GDP. Official foreign exchange reserves amounted to 4,719.5 million US dollars (10.85tri/-) at the end of July, sufficient to cover 5.4 months of projected imports of goods and services.
The import cover was above the country benchmarks of not less than 4.0 months.
Meanwhile, foreign assets of banks amounted to 1,053.9 million US dollars (2.42tri/-) at the end of July, higher than 895.2 million US dollars (2.05tri/-), a year earlier.