Cashew nuts exports interruption impacts on Mtwara Port performance

31May 2019
Francis Kajubi
The Guardian
Cashew nuts exports interruption impacts on Mtwara Port performance

THE controversy surrounding cashew nuts buying season last year has negatively impacted on Mtwara Port’s performance, Bank of Tanzania has said in its latest Consolidated Zonal Economic Performance report.

A bird’s eye view of Mtwara Port.

The BoT report said declining cashew nuts volumes which are mainly exported through Mtwara Port led to falling cargo volumes by 90.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The report which was released this week said cargo volumes handled by Mtwara Port dwindled to 21.3 thousand tons by last December compared to 233.5 thousand tons handled during the corresponding period in 2017.

“Such decline emerged as there was no cashewnut exports handled at the port during the period under review,” stated the BoT report.

The report however said cargo volumes handled by Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports increased by 4.7 percent and 21.3 percent  to over 3.9m tons from over 3.7m tons and 248,000 tons from 205, 000 tons respectively.

The Central Bank attributed the increase to the ongoing modernization and harmonization of operations at Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports.

“The Dar es Salaam Port accounted for 93.6 percent of the total cargo handled, followed by Tanga Port at 5.9 percent and Mtwara was the least with 0.5 percent of the cargo handled during the review period,” the Consolidated Zonal Economic Performance report added.

The report also covered key sectors of mining with the value of minerals extracted in the same quarter amounting to 1.06trn/-, equivalent to 1.7 per cent increase from the 1.04trn/- recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2017.

This outturn was explained by increase in production of gold in the Central, Lake and Southern Highland zones but also gemstones in Central zone and diamond in Lake Zone.

The Lake Zone dominated in mining activities, accounting for 88.6 percent of the value of minerals extracted during the quarter thanks to the existence of large-scale gold mining companies.

On the manufacturing part, the report stated that the value of manufactured goods grew by 33.5 percent to 2.54trn/- from 1.9trn/- recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2017.

The Central Bank said that the increase was mainly associated with expanding domestic and foreign markets for industrial products particularly steel and ceramics.

South Eastern zone recorded the highest growth of 46 percent, while Southern Highlands recorded the lowest growth of 5.8 percent. Dar es Salaam Zone continued to dominate the sector, accounting for 56.3 percent of total value of manufactured goods during the quarter, followed by Northern Zone at 14.9 percent.

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