The International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) provided by government data collecting agency, Statistics Botswana, show that during August the value of exports fell by 10.7 percent to P7 billion.
This is P837.1 million less than the P7.8 billion collected in July, with a drop in the demand for diamonds the chief contributor.
In total, exports of the precious stone dropped by a massive P1.3 billion.
Despite this, diamonds still accounted for 85.7 percent of the country’s August exports, pocketing P6 billion for Botswana.
Second on the list was copper and nickel, which made P370.6 million for the country. The contribution was solely attributable to Khoemacau Copper Mine in the North West, which only began exporting in July.
Third on the list was machinery and electrical equipment, which accounted for P157.6 million or 2.3 percent of total exports.
Meanwhile, Asia proved the main destination for Botswana’s exports, receiving 58.2 percent or P4 billion of all goods sold by the country that month.
Breaking the numbers down further, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) led the way, receiving 17.7 percent (1.2 billion) and 16.8 percent (P1.1 billion) of total exports respectively.
During the month under review, exports destined to the European Union (EU) amounted to P1.9 billion, accounting for 27.1 percent of total exports.
Belgium received almost all the EU bound exports, acquiring 99.8 percent (P1.9 billion).
While exports were on a downer, the country splashed out more on incoming goods, with imports up from P7.4 billion in July to P8.7 billion in August – an increase of 17.8 percent.
Diamonds again featured heavily, accounting for P3.5 billion or 40.1 percent of total imports. This was followed by fuel which contributed 12.3 percent or P1.1 billion to total imports.
Coming a close third was machinery and electrical equipment, which was responsible for 10.4 percent of the import bill, while food, beverages and tobacco accounted for 9.5 percent of the pie.
The bulk of the goods came from the Southern African Customs Region (SACU), with the bloc supplying Botswana with P5.7 billion (66.2 percent) of total imports.
The biggest imported commodity groups from the customs union were diamonds, fuel and food, beverages and tobacco with contributions of 24.3 percent (P1.4 billion), 16.7 percent (P959.8 million), and 13.6 percent (P782.0 million) to imports from the region, respectively.