Tanzania’s external sector performance has improved within the year ending November 2020, with the present account deficit dropping to $818.6 million from $1.6 billion for the year ending November 2019.
According to the Bank of Tanzania’s monthly economic review for December, the improvements “were mainly attributed on account of upper exports of products including a decline in imports bill.”
The bank said the general balance of payments recorded a deficit of $681.9 million compared due to relatively low official flows.
In addition, foreign exchange reserves were down by $829.4 million, from $5.6 billion at end of November 2019 to $4.8 billion at the end of November 2020.
According to the Bank of Tanzania, the level of reserves was still sufficient to cover 5.6 months of projected imports of goods and services excluding foreign direct investment-related imports.
The reports also read that “the import cover was above the country’s benchmark of not less than four months and conjunction criteria of at least 4.5 months for the East Africa Community. During the year ending November 2020, foreign assets of banks amounted to $1.07 billion compared to $1.02 billion year-on-year.”
In the same period, gold exports, which accounted for 55.3 per cent of total non-traditional exports, edged up by 33.6 per cent to $2.8 billion.
The increase in gold exports was both in volume and price. In the year ending November 2019, gold exports were valued at $2.1 billion from $1.5 billion in the same period the previous year.
On a month-to-month basis, the value of non-traditional exports also rose to $447.8 million from $363.9 million in November 2019, due to an increase in exports of manufactured goods, horticultural products, and minerals.