ADDIS ABABA, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's minerals exports during the just ended 2016/17 Ethiopian Fiscal Year (EFY) stood at 231.25 million US dollars, down by 25 percent from the same period last year.
Ethiopia had earned 309 million US dollars in the 2015/16 Ethiopian Fiscal Year from minerals exports.
Speaking to Xinhua on Saturday, Kiros Alemayehu, Public Relations Senior Expert at the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (EMPNG), said international minerals market volatility was the main factor for the decline in revenue.
He also blamed black market trading, in particular of Ethiopia's main minerals export of gold, smuggling of minerals to neighboring countries and lax control at local level over production and sale of minerals for the decline in revenue.
EMPNG is planning to establish five gold trading centers across Ethiopia to combat contraband gold trade and boost the country's minerals export revenues.
The five centers will be built in Tigray, Southern Nations, Gambella, Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regional states, which together are source for the vast majority of Ethiopia's gold production.
Alemayehu further said that Ethiopia expects better minerals exports revenue for 2017/18 EFY, in part because of discovery of Emerald deposits in Oromia and Sapphire deposits in Tigray.