Tanzania’s trade deficit widened to $3.5 billion in the 12 months through October on higher oil and fertilizer imports, the Central Bank said.
The trade gap increased from $2.45 billion a year earlier, the Dar es Salaam-based Bank of Tanzania said today in a monthly economic report on its Web site. Oil imports rose 23 percent to $1.75 billion in the year to October, while the amount of fertilizer brought into the country ahead of the farming season doubled to $117 million, it said.
The value of gold exports, which accounted for 37 percent of the total, rose by 15 percent to $933.6 million because of higher world market prices for the precious metal, the bank said. The volume of shipments fell to 32.7 tons, compared with 40.7 tons a year earlier, it added, without giving a reason.
Tanzania is Africa’s third-biggest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana. The economy of Tanzania, east Africa’s second-largest after Kenya, benefited from increased investment after most of its debt was canceled in 2006. The government expects the country’s economy to grow by 7.3 in 2009, from 7.7 percent last year and 7.1 percent in 2007.
Improved harvests of cotton and cashew nuts helped boost agriculture exports by 24 percent in the 12 months to October against the same period last year, the statement said.