Dar es Salaam.Travel has surpassed gold as Tanzania’s leading foreign exchange earner. The latter has suffered some shocks in recent months following falling prices at the world market.
The Bank of Tanzania said in its September Monthly Economic Review that the value of gold export declined from $2.15 billion in the year ending September 2012 to $1.748 billion in the year ending September 2013 while tourism surged from $1.61 billion to $1.82 billion during the same period.
Export value of gold declined following a decrease in both export volume and unit price. Export unit price for gold declined by 8.2 per cent to an average of $1,524.59 per troy ounce from the price recorded in the year ending September 2012, according to the central bank review.
The fall of gold export partly affected the performance of export of goods and services that declined 1.4 per cent to $8.242 billion during the year ending September this year compared to $8.362 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2012.
“Despite the decline in export values, gold and manufactured goods continued to dominate nontraditional exports,” the MER shows in part.
However, overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $419.5 million compared with a surplus of $593.4 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2012.
The narrowing of the surplus was partly explained by a widening of the current account deficit.
The current account deficit, according to the BoT, widened by 26.1 per cent to $4.676 billion in 12 months to September pushed by Official current transfers declined by 43.7 per cent from the levels recorded in the year ending September 2012, said the central bank.
Data also shows that the value of import of goods and services increased by 2.9 per cent to $10.847 billion from the levels recorded in the year ending September 2012, topped by oil at $4.15 billion this September .
Gross official reserves amounted to $4.59 million as at end of September 2013, sufficient to cover 4.5 months of projected imports of goods and services excluding those financed by foreign direct investment.