Ethiopia’s export performance which has been declining since 2012, has dropped by $170 million for the fiscal year concluded July 7, 2019 as compared to the previous year.
The country has earned a total of $2.67 billion from July 8, 2018 – July 7, 2019. Still the majority of the earning (74 percent) has come from export of agricultural commodities. Compared to the $2.84 billion total export income the country has earned the previous year, the income has declined by $170 million, according to the information NewBusinessEthiopia.com received from the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia.
The government plan for the budget year concluded last July was $4.32 billion. The east African country has been facing severe foreign currency shortage mainly due to huge trade deficit around $14 billion and increasing external debt.
These and related macroeconomic imbalance have forced the regime to launch partial privatization of some of its mega businesses and liberalizing sectors previously closed for foreign investors. Including Ethio Telecom, shipping lines, electricity service, Ethiopian Airlines, railways and several sugar factories are now set for partial and full privatization with priority for foreign investors.
Recently the country has also announced its plan to add two new foreign telecom operators to the existing state monopoly of Ethio Telcom, which is expected to sell up to 49 percent of its share for foreign investors.
Out of the 146 countries Ethiopia has exported its products during the year concluded July 7, 2019, United States was the top destination importing worth $283.22 million (buying 10.6 percent of the total export for the year).
The neighboring Somalia followed buying worth $257.87, The Netherlands $213.03, Saudi Arabia $183.18 and China importing $156.78 commodities. During the same period the United Arab Emirates has also imported commodities worth $137.54, followed by $132.24, Germany $126.48, Japan $122.12 and Israel $106.38.
The major agricultural commodities Ethiopia exported include- coffee, Khat (stimulant leaf considered as narcotic in some countries like Britain), flower, oil seeds, pulses, cereals, fruits, vegetables, tea, honey, milk and milk products. It has also exported fish, meat and live animals.
Some of the minerals exported during the period are tantalum, gold and different kinds of precious stones such as sapphire. In relation to the manufactured goods, Ethiopia has exported leather shoes, other leather products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics, chemicals and construction inputs, according to the report.